Steven Mackintosh stars as Martin Beck, with Neil Pearson as his friend and colleague Lennart Kollberg, in this BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of The Abominable Man.
The Martin Beck books, written by Swedish husband and wife team Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö between 1965-1975, set a gold standard for all subsequent Scandanavian crime fiction. Beck was the original flawed policeman, working with a motley collection of colleagues to uncover the cruelty and injustice lurking beneath the surface of Sweden's seemingly liberal, democratic society.
In The Abominable Man, adapted from the seventh book in the series, Martin Beck is called in to work in the middle of the night to see the butchered body of a senior policeman known for brutality. He begins to investigate, dogged by a sense that catastrophe is imminent. Once again, his instinct proves correct. Translated by Thomas Teal and dramatised by Katie Hims.
This is another brilliant adaptation of a Beck story. It's quite horrible at times but completely compelling. The scene when Colbert recounts his experience of being disciplined while doing military service is one of the best pieces of radio drama I have ever heard. And the denouement is marvellous - you want to laugh and cry as the inevitable horror unfolds. Absolutely wonderful stuff.
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