Murder at the Savoy

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uppladdat: 2003-05-12
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I’ve read ”Murder At the Savoy” written by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, which is one of the books in the serie called ”A Martin Beck Mystery”. In this book the plot is that Viktor Palmgren, one of Sweden´s most powerful men, was killed during a speech at a restaurant by a man that just walked into the restaurant, killed Palmgren and escaped. The others in the dining-room didn’t really see the murder and the search doesn’t proceed. They call in Martin Beck and they question everyone that were in the dining-room plus many others but nobody has seen anything. They think that one of the persons that ate at the same time as Palmgren has to have something to do with the murder.

They especially talks a lot with Charlotte Palmgren, a young girl that was married with Palmgren. But everything is standing still, until an old woman calls and says she might know something. They visit her and and suddenly the work can begin.

The main characters in this book is Beck and his colleagues. Beck is ”Chief Inspector in the National Homicide Squad” and is respected by everyone. They all know that when Beck is helping, everything is so much easier. Månsson is the one that works most within this case and he is also chief over the investigation. Kollberg is Månsson’s ”right hand” and works a lot with this case in the beginning but wants to leave it in the end because he’s really tired of it! Skacke is a policeman with high ambitions. He gets up everymorning at 6.30 to do some sit-ups and other exercises, his goal is to be ”Chief of Police”. Skacke is now ”First Assistant Detective” and he is a really good policeman for his age, with big potential. The only woman helping is Åsa. she does many of ”the boring things” and works at the ”Vide Squad”. The boss of all the persons is a guy named Malm. He’s ”Chief Superintendent of Police” and has replaced Hammar who had retired. Malm sometimes calls to see that everything is going as it should, and stuff like that. As in the most police mysteries, there aren’t that many different settings. The policehouse is one important place. Everyone got their own special little room and there are also interrogation rooms. Of course they quite often visit the restaurant where Palmgren was killed, to look for new clues. They also visit Copenhagen one time, for looking for new clues. Naturally, the policemen visits a couple of different houses too, where they ask suspected people questions about Palmgren’s strange death.

Per Månsson lives in a bachelor in Malmö and has been a ”Detective Inspector” for more than 25 years. He’s married, but still lives as bachelor five of the days every week. He spends the weekends with his wife, and so they have done since ten years back. He and his wife don’t have any children, and they are not planning to get any either. Månsson is about 50 years old and he’s quite tall, and unfortunately his condition isn’t that good. He moves really slowly, which is a pity. Otherwise, Månsson would be one of the greatest policemen in Sweden. He has spent many nights chasing villains and that is one of the things that he hates most with his work, Many nice weekends has been spoiled ”thanks” to that. But Månsson’s career is soon over, but yet he isn’t worried for what he is going to do afterwards. Månsson was born in Möllevång Square, in Malmö. That was a working section and he was raised as a worker. Due to the fact that he has lived in Malmö his whole life, he know the city most of everyone within the police force. There is only one part of Malmö that he dosn’t really know about. It is an area where many rich people lives. He remembers that from his childhood when he sometimes played there. Palmgren used to live in that area there, and Månsson has to go there.

In my opinion, Månsson looks like a really kind and calm person. One good example when you can see that, is when Månsson first talks with his wife for 30 minutes. He gets a little tired and annoyed and just want to goes to bed and sleep, when an ”Assistant Detective” calls and tell Månsson that a man has been shot, and that Månsson has to be there immediately. Then he just goes there, to investigate the area, without complaining. It’s many times when it’s like that, even though he really don’t want to do a thing, he has to do something really important. Månsson looks like a real good policman to me. He is always really fast with his tasks and they always turn out great. He is, with Beck, the most respected policeman in Malmö, and when it’s time to pick up one of the main suspects in the end of the book, Månsson get’s the honour to do that. Then he thinks it would be better if two persons go, thats why he takes Beck with him. To me Månsson acts like a person that everyone likes. He’s really kind with the others in the police force and respects them for who they are, even though they may not be as good as him. When Gunvald Larsson starts to yell at two quite young policemen, Månsson is there to calm Gunvald down. He also tells the young policemen that they are really good for being so young. He says so even though he is young, at least young for being a policeman.

Per Månsson didn’t like this case from the beginning to the end,. He thought that everything started off badly, and that the whole investigation continued in the same marks, but still he worked on as much as could. He was definitely one of the biggest reasons that this case could be solved!


”Business, as usual. What, I don’t really know. Viktor had so many irons in the fire. He used to say that to himself, too. ’I’ve a lot of irons in the fire’”. page 49

The part ”I’ve a lot of irons in the fire” is usual I think. Probably because you often has ”many irons in the fire”! In this case when he says that he has ”many irons in the fire”, he probaby means that he has much to do with many different things. Viktor Palmgren sure had many companies to run and look after. You can think of the fire as Malmö, and Palmgren’s companies as the irons. Then he had a lot of irons in the fire. But this little phrase ”many irons in the fire” can, in my opinion, also mean ”smaller” things. If you win a floorball game for instance, and you scored five of the six goals your team made, you can also say that you had ”many irons in the fire”. There is the game the fire and your goals the irons!

”Don’t ask me”, Kollberg said. ”Everyone seems very hush-hush. Maybe Martin knows.” ”Beck”, said Gunvald Larsson with distaste. page 102

I’ve choosen this one because of two reasons. First, I like ”funny” words, like hush-hush. That means secret (everything is so secret). The second reason is that Gunvald Larssons reaction is so usual. I can really imagine his reaction when Kollberg said that Beck maybe knows. I don’t know but probably had Larsson and Beck fought before, and Larsson don’t really want anything to do with Beck for now, that’s for sure. This is also a quite often scenario in the everyday life. One example is when you play a football game. You ask your coach who’s going to be the referee for the game, and he says: ”Jörgensson”. Then you already knows that he’s not good and you maybe says with distaste: ”Jörgensson?” It’s also looks a bit like Kollberg doesn’t want to tell Gunvald that Beck is coming. Maybe Kollberg knows that Larsson doesn’t want to meet Beck? Because he doesn’t use Beck’s whole name and he just name him quite fast, maybe in hope that Gunvald wouldn’t hear the name ”Beck”!

Martin Beck had the feeling as soon as he awoke. That it would be a peculiar day.
He felt ill at ease and dissatisfied, He’d gone to sleep late and awakened early, with a leaden taste in his mouth and his head throbbing with unfinished trains of thought. Page 156

I think this quoatation is really usual for policemen around in Sweden, and in other countries too of course. They have to work all night long, and when they are done for the evening, they go to bed. When they then wakes up in the morning, they don’t feel good because everything they thought of last night, are like gone now! So when they wake up and finds out that every theory they had last night ”not exist” anymore, they know it’s going to be a rough day! It’s about the same thing when you’re studying to a test. You’re sitting up really late to learn everything. When you wake up the next day, you may not feel too good and also a bit dissatisfied, because much of the things you read are ”like gone from your head”! I’m quite ...

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