The Martin Beck Killings

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SD04The Laughing Policeman2012111720140913

In the fourth of the Martin Beck Killings, Beck is now a Detective Superintendant. But his promotion hasn't made him any more cheerful; if anything, it's only confirmed his gloomy belief that the best way to solve crimes is by hard slog, dogged persistence, a grimly realistic view of human nature - and the occasional flash of sheer intuition. His team of colleagues, headed by Lennart Kollberg and Frederick Melander, are used to his stubborn ways and his frequent colds. His wife Inga isn't as tolerant.

The Laughing Policeman begins on the evening of a big demonstration in Stockholm against the Vietnam war; as the police are dealing with protesters outside the American embassy, a mass shooting on a bus in a suburb ends with nine dead, including one of Martin Beck's team. The trail to find the murderer leads Beck back to an unsolved case from the past that had puzzled the Swedish police for years.

Dramatised for radio by Jennifer Howarth

Original Music by Elizabeth Purnell

Directed by Sara Davies.

SD05The Fire Engine That Disappeared2012112420140920

by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

Translated by Joan Tate

Dramatised by Katie Hims

The apartment of a suspect being staked out by Gunvald Larsson explodes, killing three people. Arson and murder isn't at first suspected - much to Larsson's fury - but when it becomes clear that the fire was started on purpose, the case hinges on the needle-in-a-haystack chance of finding a man who fits an impossibly vague description who was somewhere in the area around the time of the fire.

Original Music composed by Elizabeth Purnell

Directed by Mary Peate.