From a master of Scandinavian crime fiction--the first in a brilliant series of novels centered around the investigations of one irascible, obdurate, and very thirsty Swedish police officer: Detective Superintendent Evert Bäckström of the National Murder Squad.
Detective Bäckström is Persson's persistently repulsive yet undeniably brilliant comic creation--an unforgettable cop winding his way through the black comedy of a crime scene, and managing to upset nearly everyone in the process.When a newspaper delivery boy finds a 68 year-old alcoholic lying dead in his apartment--beaten with a saucepan lid and hammer, and then strangled--everyone expects an open-and-shut murder case, everyone that is but Hawaiian-shirt clad Detective Bäckström who's been assigned to lead the investigation team. Under strict orders from his doctor to improve his health as quickly as possible, Bäckström has begun stumbling to work on foot, and even eating vegetables. The police force isn't what it used to be though, and now that it's crowded with women and foreigners resisting a drink is harder than ever before. But when the newspaper boy goes missing Bäckström's suspicions are proven correct, giving his irrepressible mix of luck and laziness a chance to save the day, while managing to upset nearly everyone in the process.