Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Man Who Went Up in Smoke by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö (Vintage Crime/ Black Lizard 1966)

Martin Beck inspected his fellow passengers gloomily. His expedition had been a failure. There was nothing to indicate that Ari Boeck had not been telling the truth.

Inwardly he cursed the strange impulse that had made him take on this pointless assignment. The possibilities of his solving the case became more and more remote. He was alone and without an idea in his head. And if, on the other hand, he had had any ideas, he would have lacked resources to implement them.

The worst of it was that, deep down within himself, he knew that he had not been guided by any kind of impulse at all. It was just his policeman's soul—or whatever it might be called—that had started to function. It was the same instinct that made Kollberg sacrifice his time off—a kind of occupational disease that forced him to take on all assignments and do his best to solve them.