Books

The Dying Detective

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.

Bäckström 3: The Sword of Justice

Leif G W Persson

DS Evert Bäckström is in charge of a rare kind of case. Finding a suspect for the murder of Thomas Eriksson – gangster lawyer and renowned defender of the guilty – isn’t difficult, but narrowing down the long list of people who wanted him dead is almost impossible. Certainly the only thing the detective is mourning is his obligation to process the paperwork.
Fortunately, Bäckström has spent his years cultivating a group of questionable acquaintances. His colleagues don’t know that he only closes his cases with the help of these friends. Nor that Bäckström owes them a few favours. But this time they’re all in for a surprise because even the dirtiest cop couldn’t have predicted where this trail would lead or how far from comfortable Bäckström might be at its end.

Falling Freely, as If in a Dream

Leif G W Persson

From the grand master of Scandinavian crime fiction—and one of the best crime writers of our time—a new critically acclaimed novel centered around the unsolved murder of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986.

It's August 2007, and Lars Martin Johansson, chief of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Sweden has opened the files on the unsolved murder of Prime Minister Olof Palme. With his retirement quickly closing in, Johansson forms a new group comprised of a few trustworthy detectives who doggedly wade through mountains of paperwork and pursue new leads in a case that has all but gone cold despite the open wound the assassination has left on the consciousness of Swedish society. Yet the closer the group gets to the truth, the more Johansson compromises the greater good for personal gain, becoming a pawn for the private vendetta of a shady political spin doctor. Sharply detailed and boldly plotted, Persson's work lifts the veil on one of history's greatest unsolved crimes in a novel that goes toe-to-toe with the best of true crime books.

Shortlisted for the 2015 Petrona Award and the 2015 CWA International Dagger

He Who Kills the Dragon

Leif G W Persson

In this second installment of Persson’s trilogy of police procedurals featuring the "small, fat and primitive" Evert Bäckström, the grand master’s most appallingly repulsive (and funniest) character is finally given his fifteen minutes of fame by way of his patented combination of laziness, luck, and an unbelievable sense of timing.

A seemingly ordinary murder puzzles Bäckström, who is struggling with strict orders from his doctor to lead a healthier life. His gut feeling proves him right: within days, his team has another murder linked to the first on their hands, and reports of alleged ties to a Securicor heist gone out of control, killing two. The nation needs a hero, and the newly appointed head of the Västerort police force Anna Holt needs somebody to kill the dragon for her. Who better to heed to the task than Evert Bäckström: self-sufficient, ostentatious, devoid of moral, Hawaii shirt-clad, and, latterly, armed?

Linda, As in the Linda Murder

Leif G W Persson

Winner of the Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel 2014

In the middle of an unusually hot Swedish summer, a young woman studying at the Vaxjo Police Academy is brutally murdered. Police Inspector Evert Bäckström is unwillingly drafted in from Stockholm to head up the investigation.

Egotistical, vain and utterly prejudiced against everything, Bäckström is a man who has no sense of duty or responsibilty, thinks everyone with the exception of himself is an imbecile and is only really capable of warm feelings towards his pet goldfish and the nearest bottle of liquor. If they are to solve the case, his long suffering team must work around him, following the scant few leads which remain after Bäckström's intransigence has let the trail go cold.

Blackly comic, thrillingly compelling and utterly real, Linda, As in the Linda Murder is the novel which introduces the reader to the modern masterpiece that is Evert Bäckström, a man described by his creator as 'short, fat and primitive'. He is, without doubt, the real deal when it comes to modern policing.

Another Time, Another Life

Leif G W Persson

Stockholm

1975: Six young people take the entire staff of the West German embassy hostage, demanding that the Baader-Meinhof members being held as prisoners in West Germany be released immediately. The long siege ends with the deaths of two hostages and the wounding of several others, including the captors.

1989: When a Swedish civil servant is murdered, the two leading detectives on the case, Anna Holt and Bo Jarnebring, find their investigation hastily shelved by an incompetent and corrupt senior investigator.

1999. Lars Johansson, having just joined the Swedish Security Police, decides to tie up a few loose ends left behind by his predecessor: specifically, two files on Swedes who had allegedly collaborated on the 1975 takeover of the West German embassy, one of whom turned out to be the murder victim in 1989. Johansson reopens the investigation and, with help from detectives Jarnebring and Holt, follows the leads-right up to the doorstep of Sweden's newly minted minister of justice.

Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End

Leif G W Persson

Stockholm. The dead of winter. The temperature is already well below freezing.

A young American dies, falling from a tall building. It appears to be a casual, self-inflicted death. It should be an open-and-shut case. But when Superintendent Lars Martin Johansson begins to delve beneath the layers of corruption, incompetence and violence that threaten to strangle the Stockholm police department, he uncovers a complex web of treachery, politics and espionage.

Johansson quickly realizes that there is nothing routine about this suicide as it soon takes him from domestic drama to the rotten heart of Sweden's government.

Biography

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.