The Laughing Policeman

A Martin Beck Police Mystery
Narrated by: Tom Weiner
Series: Martin Beck, Book 4
Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins
4 out of 5 stars (237 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On a cold and rainy Stockholm night, nine bus riders are gunned down by an unknown assassin. The press, anxious for an explanation for the seemingly random crime, quickly dubs him a madman. But Superintendent Martin Beck of the Stockholm Homicide Squad suspects otherwise. This apparently motiveless killer has managed to target one of Beck's best detectives - and he, surely, would not have been riding that lethal bus without a reason.
©1998 Random House (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

  • Edgar Award, Best Novel, 1971

"I've read The Laughing Policeman six or eight times. Each time I reach the final twist on the final page, I shiver afresh." (Jonathan Franzen)
"A tantalizing, intricate tale." (New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable

An absorbing fast paced story; well written. The implied social commentary is a little depressing.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

A disappointing reader

I hadn't seen the film before listening (for all of fifteen minutes) to this book, nor had I read the book, but the narrator's clumsy characterizations of Beck and his sidekick sound like a parody, a bad imitation of a 1940's actor, and really put me off listening any further. I expect it might be a fun book to READ, but I cannot recommend LISTENING to it.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Review - Laughing Policeman

It's a classic, but a little too much pausing the action to denounce the real criminals - capitalists. Very late 1960s. Dreary too, and sexist. But hey, it moves right along. I don't regret buying it. Narrator ok.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • SM
  • 02-07-19

hard-boiled genre, not nordic noir narrator

Wrong pronunciation of Swedish names and places, slurring words and even whole sentences when imitating either Humphrey-Bogart-hard-boiled-detective-style accents or British accents. Only God knows how he even made the match between accents and characters (neither hard-boiled nor British accent have anything to do with Swedish characters). In order to understand his staccato narration + the slurred words I had to listen to this audiobook at 0.85 speed and only sometime near the end of the book I managed to figure out the names of some (not all) of the detectives (except for Martin Beck, who, luckily enough, has a very simple name). You can actually hear when he stumbled over Swedish names and had to do the recording over again. This is something I might expect from a mediocre volunteer on Librivox, not from a professional narrator working on a commercial production.