The Man Who Went Up in Smoke PDF ð Man Who Went

The Man Who Went Up in Smoke The second chapter in the Inspector Martin Beck chronicles sees Martin Beck our man away from home, out of ideas and lacking resources when he is recalled from his month long summer holiday with his family Exactly twenty fours hours into his sojourn, Martin Beck once again finds himself sitting in the office of Chief Inspector Hammar and agreeing to undertake a relatively hush hush investigation on behalf of the foreign office into the disappearance of a well known journalist, a Swede named A The second chapter in the Inspector Martin Beck chronicles sees Martin Beck our man away from home, out of ideas and lacking resources when he is recalled from his month long summer holiday with his family Exactly twenty fours hours into his sojourn, Martin Beck once again finds himself sitting in the office of Chief Inspector Hammar and agreeing to undertake a relatively hush hush investigation on behalf of the foreign office into the disappearance of a well known journalist, a Swede named Alf Matsson As ever, the refrain from wife Inga is familiar There must be other policeman besides you Do you have to take on every assignment Occurring two years after the Roseanna investigation, Martin Beck is at odds with the language as he follows the trail behind the Iron Curtain with the Hungarian police force eschewing any attempts to share knowledge and highly suspicious of his motives for being there Checking into the hotel of the missing man, and indeed into the room he was designated, Martin Beck learns that he disappeared on the day he arrived, leaving behind his luggage and his room key turning up on the steps of the local police department that very same day Going through the motions, travelling to the place where he spent his first night, Martin Beck again takes one step forward and two back Thanks to the erstwhile Kollberg whom he has patchy telephone contact with and some masterful eavesdropping on Alf Matsson s Swedish cronies, a glimmer of hope emerges, only to once again prove a dead end However, the Hungarian police are circling closely and taking a keen interest as Martin Beck stumbles headlong into a even darker quagmire of international drug smuggling It is a morose Martin Beck who wanders the streets of Budapest and ponders just what he has taken on As he brokers a fragile accord between his home nation and their counterparts is Hungary the results are once again down togood fortune and arduous cross referencing of facts than to the power of deduction As painstakingly slow as the events of the Roseanna investigation, Martin Beck moves between meals times and bedtime as a sense of trust is fostered with the curious Major Vilmos Szluka of the Hungarian force The result owesto the unstinting slog and mundane work of fact checking, than to any spark of ingenuity and can be marked down to sheer determination and a thirst for the truth.Published in 1966 one of the most topical aspects of The Man Who Went Up In Smoke was in furthering the discussion of drug smuggling into formerly capitalist countries via the Eastern bloc regions, largely because the authorities didn t think their was anything worth smuggling out of these regions One of the most interesting facets of this case is the fact that something of a very similar nature did actually arise and the Wallenberg affair referenced by the men from the foreign office is actually referring to the disappearance of Swedish architect, diplomat and humanitarian Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest in 1945 Whilst working as Sweden s special envoy in the later part of 1944, Wallenberg was accused of sheltering Jews and issuing protective passports and was subsequently detained by the KGB on suspicion of espionage I think I m starting to understand Martin Beck now.If Roseanna was a very good first book that I had some problems with then The Man Who Went Up In Smoke is a very good second book that tackles some of those issues and really gives you a feel for the protagonist Martin Beck.This time Martin is recalled from his family vacation and despatched to Budapest at the request of a government department who fears that a Swedish journalist has disappeared behind The Iron Curtain, but far from being a co I think I m starting to understand Martin Beck now.If Roseanna was a very good first book that I had some problems with then The Man Who Went Up In Smoke is a very good second book that tackles some of those issues and really gives you a feel for the protagonist Martin Beck.This time Martin is recalled from his family vacation and despatched to Budapest at the request of a government department who fears that a Swedish journalist has disappeared behind The Iron Curtain, but far from being a cold war mystery ala Le Carre this is a study of a man out of his comfort zone, interracting with foreign culture and dedicating himself to his profession.Beck is a singular detective, evolved from the brilliant Simenon creation Maigret with a dash of the hardboiled Marlowes and Spades thrown in to the mix His dedication to the job means his home life is slowly becoming a mess that he doesn t know how to interact with This kind of thing is a genre staple but when reading the Martin Beck books it feels fresh and interesting, perhaps thanks to the subtlety of the writing but also because it was fresh back in the sixties.The descriptive passages of Budapest from the point of view of Beck were both fascinating as a look at the city and as a view in to the way the mans mind works and were a joy to read The fact that I am shortly to be visiting the city added a little extra pleasure too.The plot is a good one and approached as if on holiday it has a leisurely, winding feel to it in the same way Beck wanders the Hungarian city with plenty of distractions to keep you looking guessing And in the same way life moves quicker when you return home from your holidays so too does the plot when Beck flies home to Sweden no longer inebriated with foreign weather and cigarettes his little grey cells put the pieces together almost as if he d known all along.The fact that the authors have gone on record of wanting to use the crime novel as a scalpel cutting open the belly of the ideologically pauperized and morally debatable so called welfare state of the bourgeois type serves to emphasise the importance of the team of detectives surrounding Beck alone in Budapest he is not the famous detective, he is nothing, but on his return to his police family, with a support network of his equals he is onceable to achieve great things.As Richard Shephard says in the p.s section of the book after reading this you feel what is almost a compulsion to discoverabout Beck and his life, what choice is there but to turn hurriedly to the third instalment Part 1 Roseanna Inspector Beck is packed off to Budapest, where a journalist has vanished without a trace As he trolls about in the Eastern Europe underworld, he pursues a case whose international boundaries grow with every new clue A real page turner of a book A Swedish journalist has gone missing in Budapest and it is Martin Beck s job to find him The politicians want the case settled quickly to avoid a scandal in cold war Europe Wallenburg Mark 2 perhaps but can Beck solve the case in time The case is absolutely baffling with the journalist leaving only the lightest of traces in Budapest a couple of hotel check ins and taxi rides Surely even Beck will find this insufficient A couple of plot twists keep you gue A real page turner of a book A Swedish journalist has gone missing in Budapest and it is Martin Beck s job to find him The politicians want the case settled quickly to avoid a scandal in cold war Europe Wallenburg Mark 2 perhaps but can Beck solve the case in time The case is absolutely baffling with the journalist leaving only the lightest of traces in Budapest a couple of hotel check ins and taxi rides Surely even Beck will find this insufficient A couple of plot twists keep you guessing throughout what is a relatively slim book 200 pages.This book was written in the 60 s but it still feels contemporary except maybe for the relentless smoking by all and sundry.A good read My third Martin Beck police procedural, although some lists consider this the second in the series This is a standalone story, so the order of reading is not that important Although the emotional intensity is dialed down compared to Roseanna and The Man on the Balcony, the Sjowall Wahloo presentation is as convincingly realistic as usual re the banality of evil.The book starts with Martin Beck leaving office for his summer vacation, only to be interrupted by the call of duty the very firs My third Martin Beck police procedural, although some lists consider this the second in the series This is a standalone story, so the order of reading is not that important Although the emotional intensity is dialed down compared to Roseanna and The Man on the Balcony, the Sjowall Wahloo presentation is as convincingly realistic as usual re the banality of evil.The book starts with Martin Beck leaving office for his summer vacation, only to be interrupted by the call of duty the very first evening A mysterious disparition of a Swedish journalist in a Budapest hotel sends him on what is for about half of the book on a laidback, tourist brochure stroll behind the Iron Curtain Compared to other authors put in a similar situation most recently Henning Mankell in Dogs of Riga the games of right wing left wing politics are ignored, letting the manic depressive Beck cross the Danube on an old fashioned steamer, listen to Strauss waltzes in an opulent restaurant, relax in the sulphurous hot baths or gazing from the heights of Buda at the sprawling city basking in the summer heat.At about the halfway mark of the book things pick up and the various secondary characters introduced start to make sense and the scarcity of clues give way to revelations that I can t describe without giving the plot away I can only say this is another story solved by brains, empathy and gumshoe persistence, although Beck proves himself no slouch when it comes down to physical action The final revelation will make up for any slowness in build up.I rate this a bit lower than the first books only because I feltemotionally detached about the story, but I m looking forward tofrom this detective I could hear the cigarettes and bourbon tearing apart narrator Tom Weiner s vocal chords as I listened to his reading of The Man Who Went Up in Smoke, and I wouldn t have it any other way Weiner s voice adds aural texture to a book overflowing with atmospheric texture he compliments the Martin Beck tale perfectly with his slurry gravelly voice And that s seems important to me here in a way that it doesn t in all audiobooks I think it is because of how important this series is to its genre.Th I could hear the cigarettes and bourbon tearing apart narrator Tom Weiner s vocal chords as I listened to his reading of The Man Who Went Up in Smoke, and I wouldn t have it any other way Weiner s voice adds aural texture to a book overflowing with atmospheric texture he compliments the Martin Beck tale perfectly with his slurry gravelly voice And that s seems important to me here in a way that it doesn t in all audiobooks I think it is because of how important this series is to its genre.The Martin Beck books aren t merely perceived as the inspiration for the authors who followed Maj Sj wall Per Wahloo, many of the authors who have gone on to write police procedurals admit their debt fully Val McDermid claims this inspiration in his foreword to this edition of The Man Who Went Up in Smoke and Henning Mankell did the same in his foreword to Roseanna Mankell s debt is easily traceable His Kurt Wallander novel, The Dogs of Riga, is a direct descendent of The Man Who Went Up in Smoke Wallander spends his time in Riga, Latvia, at the height of the Cold War, investigating a murder, just as Martin Beck spends his time in Budapest, Hungry investigating a man s disappearance The similarities are such that they feel like companion pieces, pieces meant to be read together as a way to consider the same tale from the perspectives of different eras.But I discovered a potential link of inspiration that surprised me and I d love to have an admission for this from the author himself just to satisfy my curiosity I am willing to bet that China Mi ville read The Man Who Went Up in Smoke when he was gearing up to write The City and the City In a much simpler form, the tale of Tyador Borl s search for the killer of Mahalia Geary is present here But the most interesting link is the way Beck moves between the cities that are Budapest It is a city and a city, and that idea is playing on the edges of The Man Who Went Up in Smoke.These connections and those who ve been inspired by Maj Sj wall Per Wahloo don t really matter for too many of us What does matter is that these are some seriously satisfying mysteries Must reading or listening for any serious fan of the police procedural At their best these books have a great no fuss, straightforwardness These are police procedurals with little in the way of histrionics, leftfield plot twists or characters whose motivations don t have much relation to reality The characters at the centre of these books are professionals who get on with their job they interview the suspects, pull the pieces together and arrive at the correct conclusion Indeed in this volume even the reveal of the killer is done in an understated, without thr At their best these books have a great no fuss, straightforwardness These are police procedurals with little in the way of histrionics, leftfield plot twists or characters whose motivations don t have much relation to reality The characters at the centre of these books are professionals who get on with their job they interview the suspects, pull the pieces together and arrive at the correct conclusion Indeed in this volume even the reveal of the killer is done in an understated, without thrills way which actually in its ordinariness I found grippingly tense And the fact that without literal or metaphoric explosions these books can bring me to bite my fingernails probably explains their success These are quietly effective thrillers.A Swedish journalist disappears in Hungary and Martin Beck is sent to investigate The foreign locale takes him away from his support network and places himas a lone man in a disaffecting city In a way this give the book a Chandler esque feel and I wonder if Philip Kerr read it before creating his Marlowe as European cop character, Bernie Gunther It s a story with a strong if subdued emotional core, but no sentiment for a book written by journalists, it really gives an unromantic portrayal of the profession As Martin Beck tries to get to grips with possible murder behind the Iron Curtain, the tension builds and a genuinely intriguing and tense tale unfolds I finished this one last Thursday and it was fine I mean the writing was smooth, the story is interesting with few twists However it lacks the thrill, and the progress is very slow but I guess each writer has his own style Also what I find interesting is that when the case is solved, rather than feeling satisfaction and triumph, Inspector Beck express gloom and despair instead The reason according to the writer is due to his introverted personality.The story begins when inspector Martin Bec I finished this one last Thursday and it was fine I mean the writing was smooth, the story is interesting with few twists However it lacks the thrill, and the progress is very slow but I guess each writer has his own style Also what I find interesting is that when the case is solved, rather than feeling satisfaction and triumph, Inspector Beck express gloom and despair instead The reason according to the writer is due to his introverted personality.The story begins when inspector Martin Beck start to spend his holiday in an island However, his holiday is ruined when he is summoned by his superior to investigate in a delicate case It s about a journalist who has traveled to Budapest and disappeared there without a trace and the newspaper where he worked for wants to relate his disappearance to a political conspiracy, which might damage the relations between Sweden and Hungary So Beck must travel there and find him within a week in order prevents this from happening, in a country where he s on his own With the first snow storm of the year hitting my area, it seemed like a great time to pick up a Swedish mystery novel I figured I could put on a comfy sweater and sip some coffee while reading about the Stockholm police tracking criminals across a gloomy winter landscape that matched the view out my window Unfortunately, the book is set during the summer, and the main character spends most of his time in hot and humid Hungary So I got very confused and ended up putting on my shorts and going With the first snow storm of the year hitting my area, it seemed like a great time to pick up a Swedish mystery novel I figured I could put on a comfy sweater and sip some coffee while reading about the Stockholm police tracking criminals across a gloomy winter landscape that matched the view out my window Unfortunately, the book is set during the summer, and the main character spends most of his time in hot and humid Hungary So I got very confused and ended up putting on my shorts and going out on the deck with a cooler of cold beer The doctor managed to save four of my toes.Police detective Martin Beck joins his family on their summer holiday but gets called back to work before he even has time to get a sunburn A journalist named Alf Matsson has vanished while on an assignment in Budapest and with the newspaper he worked for threatening to cause a political fuss, the Swedish government wants Beck to find him Beck journeys to Hungary and since the book was written in the mid 60s, this is behind the old Iron Curtain, and Beck has no official status as he tries to locate Matsson.Thanks to growing up in Cold War era America, I was expecting a book involving a Western European cop going into the Eastern Bloc to get political and involve Beck investigating in a harsh socialist state while dealing with a hostile Hungarian police force However, the Budapest of this book seems like an idyllic vacation spot, and the police are polite and fairly helpful to Beck It was a nice surprise that this wasof cop out of his element story rather than a mystery with political conspiracy overtones.This series gets a lot of credit for being among the first police procedurals, and it s easy to see the influence they had on the genre Val McDermid has a great introduction in this edition that talks about how groundbreaking the books were at the time and how many of the elements introduced in them went on to become clich s Unfortunately, this copycatting has familiarized me with the style enough to enable me to guess the solution to the mystery about half way through the book.However, I also liked the way that so much of what Beck is feeling and thinking is explained via his actions and not exposition or dialogue There are several hints that his marriage isn t going so well and you get the feeling that he welcomes the chance to get away from a family vacation, but it s never expressed plainly The way we only know Beck through the way approaches his police work reminds me a lot of the early Matt Scudder novels by Lawrence Block A Swedish national, a sports journalist, goes missing in Budapest, behind the Iron Curtain It s the height of the Cold War, and Swedish homicide detective Martin Beck, about to enjoy his vacation, is sent, instead, to look into the disappearance A Canadian boy would expect a 70s Budapest to be riddled with spies and spying and suspicion A Canadian boy would expect oppressiveness and oppression at every Hungarian turn A Canadian boy would expect high adventure mixed with the KGB and CIA A Swedish national, a sports journalist, goes missing in Budapest, behind the Iron Curtain It s the height of the Cold War, and Swedish homicide detective Martin Beck, about to enjoy his vacation, is sent, instead, to look into the disappearance A Canadian boy would expect a 70s Budapest to be riddled with spies and spying and suspicion A Canadian boy would expect oppressiveness and oppression at every Hungarian turn A Canadian boy would expect high adventure mixed with the KGB and CIA A Canadian boy would expect an international murder, with international implications A Canadian boy would expect something thrillingly action packed A Canadian boy would be wrong, though Maj Sj wall and Per Wahloo were not as foolish as the Canadian boy They didn t have his prejudices and indoctrinations They knew the story they were telling, and they told it their way, with integrity So their story has a beautiful Budapest, with bath houses, and quays and the Danube outside Metropolitan hotels It has local police just like anyone else s police, no better or worse, just doing their job It has a little danger at the hands of some German drug dealers who make their home in Budapest And the solution to the mystery of the missing man is mundane and lying back in Sweden Budapest was just a step in the path to the appropriately depressing conclusion.It is what all the Martin Beck mysteries are true and that is the highest praise I can bestow on a work of fiction


About the Author: Maj Sjöwall

Maj Sj wall was a Swedish author and translator She was best known for the collaborative work with her partner Per Wahl on a series of ten novels about the exploits of Martin Beck, a police detective in Stockholm In 1971, the fourth of these books, The Laughing Policeman a translation of Den skrattande polisen, originally published in 1968 won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Novel They also wrote novels separately.Sj wall had a 13 year relationship with Wahl which lasted until his death in 1975.


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