The Dying Detective

Author(s): Leif G. W. Persson


Retired Chief of the National Crime Police and Swedish Security Service Lars Martin Johansson has just suffered a stroke. He is paying the price for a life of excess - stress, good food and fine wine. With his dangerously high blood pressure, his heart could fail at the slightest excitement. In the hospital, a chance encounter with a neurologist provides an important piece of information about a 25-year-old murder investigation and alerts Lars Martin Johansson's irrepressible police instincts. The period for prosecution expired just weeks earlier and that isn't the only limitation. Lars Martin Johansson is determined to solve the atrocious crime - from his deathbed. The inimitable style, distinct voice and dark humour of Leif GW Persson, along with the fascinating exploration of a long-cold murder case, serves to make the Dying Detective a true masterpiece of the genre.

Another gloomy Sunday, so I escaped into the welcoming warmth of McLeods bookshop on Pukuatua street. Beaming behind the counter, Michael wasn't at all cowed by the weather, so I set him a challenge to find me a page turner into which I could escape. My request widened his grin, but knowing he is more into the macabre than me I was worried about what I'd end up with. Michael had a selection to offer and, having enjoyed Swedish author Henning Mankell, I picked The Dying Detective, by another Swedish criminologist. I was not disappointed. A snappy storyline and short chapters had me turning pages right to the end. The protagonist, policeman Lars Martin Johansson, after a near fatal stroke, wakes in hospital. Upon recognition, his doctor asks him about a twenty five year old unsolved murder case. Intrigued, Johansson ignores his weakened heart (and lifestyle advice), to press on with this investigation.
Gathering a motley assortment of characters around him, he identifies what the earlier investigation lacked; clues that where not followed. Struggling with partial paralysis, Johansson continues his accustomed lifestyle, and in the excitement of the chase, builds a case that can identify a killer. The problem then becomes one of what to do about it. Unlike many Swedish crime protagonists, such as Mankell's Wallander, who are dour and dejected, Johansson bubbles with witty repartee, jokes and dark asides. He is obviously dying but refuses to admit it to himself.

Billed as a thriller, I found this more an intriguing mystery. The reader is drawn to the carefully crafted characters. This novel is simply a cracking read and again Michael's selection was spot on. So, the next gloomy Sunday will see me heading to McLeods again and challenge him to find me a page turner. Ted Ronayne (Guest reviewer)


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Winner of both the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers' Award for Best Crime Novel of 2010 and The Glass Key for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of 2010.

"Persson is more authentic than Stieg Larsson." La Repubblica, Italy "Persson remains unthreatened as the King of Swedish crime writing" Kvallsposten, Sweden "Persson combines the humor of Van Veeteren, Hakan Nesser's hero with the energy of Henning Mankell's detective Kurt Wallander." Trouw, Netherlands "Read the book for its teeming sarcasm, its humor and its portrait of a dying detective and his tender, almost beautiful, relationships to friends and family - and perhaps to get a sharpened view of morals and revenge." Fyns Amtsavis, Denmark

Leif G.W. Persson is Scandinavia's most renowned criminologist and a leading psychological profiler. He has also served as an advisor to the Swedish Ministry of Justice. Since 1991, he has held the position of Professor at the National Swedish Police Board and is regularly consulted as the country's foremost expert on crime. He is the author of ten bestselling crime novels including The Dying Detective which won both the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers' Award for Best Crime Novel of 2010 and The Glass Key for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of 2010. During his career Persson has been the recipient of many other prestigious awards including The Piraten Award, The Swedish Academy of Crime Writers' Award (which he has won three times), The Finnish Whodunnit Society's Annual Award for Excellence in Foreign Crime Writing, The Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel, and The Danish Academy of Crime Writers' Palle Rosenkrantz Prize.

General Fields

  • : 9780857520890
  • : Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • : Doubleday
  • : July 2016
  • : 234mm X 153mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Leif G. W. Persson
  • : Paperback
  • : 916
  • : 432