The Abominable Man by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo is the 7th novel in the Martin Beck series. Sjowall and Wahloo have a fantastic grip on the difficulties facing modern day police officers that are trying to work in a corrupt system. Former Chief Inspector Nyman is murdered and throughout the investigation, the truth of his brutality confronts the investigating officers.
As Nyman lay dying in his hospital bed, a sadistic madman breaks in and kills him with a bayonet. Beck and his officers discover that throughout the years Nyman and his men earned numerous complaints of police brutality against innocent men and women with little to no repercussions. The police always backed their own, and Nyman went unscathed. The list of complaints leads the investigation to a man with a terrible grievance against Nyman and many other police officers, including Martin Beck.
Sjowall and Wahloo maneuver this story and masterfully tell what can happen when you cannot trust the police who should be there for your protection. How the brotherhood of police needed to be disbanded to protect those from the sadistic nature of police officers gone bad. Even our beloved Martin Beck fell prey to the policeman’s allegiance in the past and must suffer his own consequences.
I love the Martin Beck stories because its told from the minds of a cerebral officer who takes his time to trust his instincts and doesn’t offer endless violent scenes to tempt the reader. He’s a great investigator and Sjowall and Wahloo tell his story clearly.
Read November 2013