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Publisher's Summary

From a master of Scandinavian crime fiction - the first in a brilliant series of novels centered around the investigations of one irascible, obdurate, and very thirsty Swedish police officer: Detective Superintendent Evert Bäckström of the National Murder Squad.

Detective Bäckström is Persson's persistently repulsive yet undeniably brilliant comic creation - an unforgettable cop winding his way through the black comedy of a crime scene, and managing to upset nearly everyone in the process. When a newspaper delivery boy finds a 68-year-old alcoholic lying dead in his apartment - beaten with a saucepan lid and hammer, and then strangled - everyone expects an open-and-shut murder case, everyone that is but Hawaiian-shirt clad Detective Bäckström who's been assigned to lead the investigation team. Under strict orders from his doctor to improve his health as quickly as possible, Bäckström has begun stumbling to work on foot, and even eating vegetables. The police force isn't what it used to be though, and now that it's crowded with women and foreigners resisting a drink is harder than ever before. But when the newspaper boy goes missing, Bäckström's suspicions are proven correct, giving his irrepressible mix of luck and laziness a chance to save the day, while managing to upset nearly everyone in the process.

©2015 Leif GW Persson (P)2014 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Swedish names tough

It was hard for me to follow all the names and keep the players straight. The story was a good one but it felt a little muddled and I found myself wanting to be done with this one and move on. I thought that the narrator did a very good job.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Does the world need another jerk detective? Yes!

Normally when I figure out the whodunit too early in the book it's a bad sign, but this case is a total exception. Excellent characters, multiple plots, and entertaining dialogue makes this a winner.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Detective Archie Bunker

Very good read, but would have been much better with a different narrator… someone take that guy off of Thorazine…

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

lost in translation, I hope

Difficult to make it through, between the rambling and disjointed writing and the distracting narration. Would not recommend struggling through.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great performance; confusing at times

The performance was excellent, but I struggled to stay with it at times. Like (probably) most people, I was led to this title by the premiere of the American TV show, which I've been enjoying. I assumed that the Backstrom of the novels would be much grittier than the TV version--you can only go so far on TV, and Hollywood is only willing to be un-PC to a certain (very tame) point--and I was certainly not disappointed on that score.

I found myself flailing a bit; things felt disjointed at times, so much so that it prompted me to scan back at several points to make sure I didn't miss something or inadvertently hit the skip button. I'm not sure if that's owed to the original writing or some clunky translation or both.

Overall, however, I enjoyed it, and I'll probably check out other Backstrom titles.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

a swedish archie bunker police detective

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

change the main character's disposition and provide as part of his character his evolving detective skills

What do you think your next listen will be?

Not this author!

Would you be willing to try another one of Erik Davies’s performances?

No!

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The basic detective story if you could get past all the comments by the main character and the difficult names.

Any additional comments?

The difficult names made the story even more difficult to follow.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful