The masterful second novel in the Martin Beck series of mysteries by the internationally renowned crime writing duo, Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, finds Beck searching Budapest for a well-known Swedish journalist who has disappeared without a trace. With an introduction by Val McDermid: "So many of the elements that have become integral...in the police procedural subgenre started life in these ten novels....Their plots are second to none."
Inspector Martin Beck of the Stockholm Homicide Squad has his summer vacation abruptly terminated when the top brass at the foreign office pack him off to Budapest to search for Alf Matsson, a well-known Swedish journalist who has vanished. Beck investigates viperous Eastern European underworld figures and--at the risk of his life--stumbles upon the international racket in which Matsson was involved. With the coolly efficient local police on his side and a predatory nymphet on his tail, Beck pursues a case whose international implications grow with each new clue.
“Sjöwall and Wahlöö write unsparingly and unswervingly. . . . Fast moving storytelling. . . . Their plots are second to none.” —Val McDermid, from the introduction "Enormously satisfying. . . . Terse, tense and eminently readable." —Chicago Tribune“Ingenious. . . . Their mysteries don't just read well; they reread even better. . . . The writing is lean, with mournful undertones.”—The New York Times“The husband-wife combination forms a superb story-telling team.”—El Paso Times