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Download Roseanna: A Martin Beck Police Mystery Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Roseanna: A Martin Beck Police Mystery Audiobook, by Maj Sjöwall Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,207 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Maj Sjöwall, Per Wahlöö Narrator: Tom Weiner Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Martin Beck Police Mysteries Release Date: October 2008 ISBN: 9781455191246
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On a July afternoon, the body of a young woman is dredged from Sweden’s beautiful Lake Vättern. Three months later, all that Police Inspector Martin Beck knows is that her name is Roseanna, that she came from Lincoln, Nebraska, and that she could have been strangled by any one of eighty-five people. As the melancholic Beck narrows down the list of likely suspects, he is drawn increasingly to the enigma of the victim, a free-spirited traveler with a penchant for the casual sexual encounter, and to the psychopathology of a murderer with a distinctive—indeed, terrifying—sense of propriety.

With its authentically rendered settings, vividly realized characters, and command over the intricately interwoven details of police detection, Roseanna is a masterpiece of suspense and sadness.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Listening to Tom Weiner’s narration of Roseanna, one can easily believe one is hearing a gaggle of Swedish policemen…The story, setting, and characters have a noir quality, and the clipped rhythms of Weiner’s reading are just right. In his Everyman baritone, we hear the frustrations of a case for which no solutions can be found for months. When the action heats up, listeners feel the tension rise as the police work round the clock to bring the case to a close. As the story comes to an end, the ragged edge in Weiner's voice helps listeners feel the detectives’ mix of sadness and triumph.”


  • “What fascinates is the mechanism itself, and the characters who analyse and try to understand the motivation for the brutal crime and, in doing so, expose the cracks in the complacency of Swedish society…The writing is elegant and surprisingly humorous—if you haven’t come across Beck before, you’re in for a treat.” 

    Guardian (London)

  • “Superb suspense…Let no mystery authority worth the appellation miss Roseanna…I have never read a finer police story.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “A wonderfully tough and pleasantly chilling tale…told without a wasted word.”


Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet Martin | 2/13/2014

    " Absolutely brilliant. It's hard to believe this book was published almost 40 years ago--it's a timeless investigation, perfectly written and wonderfully performed. Humor, intelligence and old fashioned detection. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan | 2/12/2014

    " The first in a series about Swedish detective Martin Beck. The authors were the frontrunners in the current Scandinavian crime wave and Roseanna got it off to an assured start. Themes that turn up in the books of Larsson and Mankell are rehearsed here. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bob | 2/11/2014

    " A naked woman was dredged up from the bottom of Sweden's beautiful Lake Vattern one July day. Where had she come from? How had she got there? And why? . . . a rash of brutal muggings and child sex-murders with the elusive mugger perhaps the only person in Stockholm to have seen the murderer . . . the search for a hard-drinking well-known Swedish journalist in Budapest, who has vanished without a trace . . . eight people were shot to death in a Stockholm bus, with one of the dead being an ambitious young detective whose private life was both perverse and mysterious . . . an incendiary device blows the roof off a Stockholm apartment house one cold winter night interrupting the small, peaceful orgy underway inside, and for reasons nobody could satisfactorily explain - the fire department didn't arrive until too late. How could a regulation-sized ladder truck vanish in the center of Stockholm? . . . the peculiar death of a 46-year-old bachelor whose cryptic suicide note consisted of only two words: 'Martin Beck'? . . . the murder of a powerful Swedish industrialist during his after-dinner speech in the elegant Hotel Savoy with a shot in the head . . . the bloody murder of a police captain in his hospital room by a demented and deadly rifleman exposing the particularly unsavory history of a man who spent forty years practicing brutality and force . . . a decayed corpse with a bullet through its head is found inside a locked room. Suicide? Perhaps - but inside the locked room there is no gun. A young blonde in sunglasses holds up a bank and shoots the hapless citizen who moves to stop her . . . a blond woman in her middle thirties in a small Swedish town is brutally murdered and left buried in a swamp. Some weeks later her decomposing body is found accidentally by a group of hikers. Prime suspects are the convicted sex murderer who was her only neighbor on a lonely country road, and her former husband - a rough, drunken retired sailor. Meanwhile, on a quiet suburban street in another part of Sweden, a midnight shootout take place between three cops and two teenage boys. Dead: one cop and two teenage boys. Wounded: two cops. Escaped: one kid . . . an American senator visits Stockholm and Martin Beck tries to protect him from an international gang of terrorists, while they decide that Beck too should be removed from the scene . . . a millionaire pornographer bludgeoned to death in his own bathtub . . . a young girl, a Swedish hippie, caught up unexpectedly in the maze of police bureaucracy . . . and of course, a homicide detective who is a chain smoker with a graveyard cough and an abused stomach; a 'weekend' sailor who likes to spend what time he has making model ships, living in a gray suburban apartment with his once pretty wife and two children with whom he has few points of contact and little in common... These are the Martin Beck mysteries, a series of 10 police procedural novels set in Stockholm, Sweden that follow a group of police detectives over the course of a decade. Here are the titles in order -- ROSEANNA 1965 Roseanna MANNEN SOM GICK UPP I RÖK 1966 The Man Who Went Up in Smoke MANNEN PÅ BALKONGEN 1967 The Man on the Balcony DEN SKRATTANDE POLISEN 1968 The Laughing Policeman BRANDBILEN SOM FÖRSVANN 1969 The Fire Engine That Disappeared POLIS, POLIS, POTATISMOS! 1970 Murder at the Savoy DEN VEDERVÄRDIGE MANNEN FRÅN SÄFFLE 1971 The Abominable Man DET SLUTNA RUMMET 1972 The Locked Room POLISMÖRDAREN 1974 Cop Killer TERRORISTERNA 1975 The Terrorists "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 charlie | 2/8/2014

    " Excellent detective series from Sweden from the 60's. Here lies episode 1. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dave Johnson | 2/7/2014

    " The first in an excellent series of 10, the original police procedurals. I enjoyed it more on re-reading it having worked through the series and having got to know the personalities much better...a real slow-burner. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 AC | 1/24/2014

    " (I am lowering my rating on this to 3, to allow me to lower my rating on the second book, so that I can properly emphasis how good the third book actually is...) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judi | 1/22/2014

    " My only experience with Scandinavian authors (Swedish, specifically) until now has been Henning Mankell, who wrote the foreword to this edition of Roseanna. I certainly see similarities between Sjowall/Wahloo and Mankell, but couldn't say if this is because Mankell was so influenced by S/W, or if this style of writing is endemic to all Swedish writers of "roman policiers". The book is austere in its descriptions, it is an ensemble piece (with Martin Beck as the protagonist here and Kurt Wallander in the Mankell books, and a strong and interesting supporting cast), and there are long periods of time when there is no action. I definitely liked it, but as a 21st century reader, it seems a bit naive -- policeman are always good, perps are always evil. I think, however, when it first came out in 1966, it probably was a little shocking, given the nature of the murder and some of the more salicious details. I wonder how this reflected Swedish society at the time? Oh, and it really jumped out at me that the protagonist was always referred to by both his first and last name: Martin Beck. It was never just "Beck" or "Martin". Hmm. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marie | 1/20/2014

    " Translated from Swedish. Might not be at your library. "Roseanna" is the first in the 10-book series. Better to read them in order. Slow moving, like a real case would be (I assume). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew | 1/6/2014

    " The first of the Martin Beck books is good. I was expecting it to either be a fantastically wonderful debut or else a so-so introduction to a police squad whose characters hadn't been fully formed yet. Surprisingly, it was neither. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 g | 11/16/2013

    " You know, I was quite fond of this rather unassuming murder mystery before its contrived and embarrassing denouement. I've been told that the series gets better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cinnie | 11/10/2013

    " Not at all exciting -- but gripping nonetheless. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daphne Durham | 5/4/2013

    " Slow start, but this sharp, Swedish mystery builds tension to a breathless (and satisfying) finish. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Benjamin | 4/28/2013

    " Taut start to a series that is not only a series of excellent crime stories, but a searing critique on the hell-on-earth that is postwar Swedish society. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 R. Z. | 10/20/2011

    " A great police procedural mystery. Translated from Swedish. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susannah | 11/24/2010

    " Will definitely read the rest of the series. This is more my type of book (relative to Tattoo series). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wil | 9/29/2010

    " I was very pleased by how 'straight from an old movie' this narrative felt. It was solid and engaging- and I felt immersed in that time. It led nicely to viewings of old Agatha Christie movies. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Malcolm Highfield | 11/18/2009

    " One of the best police procedural novels I have ever read. The detectives aren't mere ciphers, they are gloriously human and like all of us don't always get it right. I was surprised to learn the authors were committed Marxists as their portrayal of the police is so sympathetic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joelynn | 10/14/2009

    " Well written. Depressed inspector. Dead body. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Margo | 1/8/2009

    " Slow, but apparently the Martin Becl series was an inspiration for Stig Larrson "

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About the Author

Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, wife and husband team, wrote ten Martin Beck mysteries, virtually creating the modern police procedural. In addition to the many short stories and novels he wrote, Mr. Wahlöö, who died in 1975, wrote numerous radio and television plays and was a reporter for several Swedish newspapers and magazines. Maj Sjöwall is also a journalist and poet. She lives in Sweden.

About the Narrator

Tom Weiner, a dialogue director and voice artist best known for his roles in video games and television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Transformers, is the winner of eight Earphones Awards and Audie Award finalist. He is a former member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.