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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 listeners say about The Laughing Policeman

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    125
  • 4 Stars
    112
  • 3 Stars
    63
  • 2 Stars
    19
  • 1 Stars
    9
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    98
  • 4 Stars
    67
  • 3 Stars
    40
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    8
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    103
  • 4 Stars
    69
  • 3 Stars
    37
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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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
    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.

2 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.

5 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.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Boring

Don't waste your time. The narrator warns you in the prologue that the authors were Marxists, and cautions that we now consider the hippy era free love to be normal behavior, blah, blah. sorry, I don't need anyone to tell me how to listen to a book.

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

Good book, awful narrator

I really wanted to like it, but it's impossible. No idea of what the narrator was trying to do, slurring word endings an mispronouncing in a monotonous annoying voice. Skip it and read the book.