[Marxism] Stockholm is burning

Glenn Kissack gkissack at nyc.rr.com
Mon May 27 10:41:34 MDT 2013

> At some point down the road I plan to write an article--probably for Counterpunch magazine--on Swedish leftist detective stories. Probably most of you are familiar with the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo story, with the author being a former member of the FI.

I enjoy the Henning Mankell novels, but the most left detective fiction I've ever read is the "Martin Beck" series by Swedish authors Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo. Written in the 1970's, there are 10 books in all, starting with Roseanna and ending with "The Terrorists." The first three, I believe, are well-written procedurals set in Stockholm, but the subsequent novels are very political. Two of the main detectives are unabashed leftists. The reader is shown the dark underbelly of Swedish society -- unemployment, alienation, police brutality. I highly recommend them, and they're in print:


I suspect that both Mankell and Larsson were heavily influenced by the work of Sjowall and Wahloo. (Wikipedia says that both writers had been Marxists.) Wahloo had been a crime reporter before turning to writing novels, and Sjowall was his partner for 13 years. Probably the best-known novel of their series is The Laughing Policeman, which was turned into an excellent movie starring Walter Matthau and set in San Francisco.


More information about the Marxism mailing list