Den döende detektiven

Den döende detektiven The Dying Detective

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 - be it stress, good food or fine wines. He has dangerously high blood pressure and his heart could fail at the slightest excitement. In the hospital, a chance encounter with a neurologist who confides an important piece of information about the rape and murder of a nine year-old girl 25 years earlier invigorates Lars Martin Johansson’s unparalleled police instincts. However, the period for prosecution expired only 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 humor of Leif GW Persson, along with the fascinating exploration of a 25 year-old murder case, serves to make The Dying Detective a true masterpiece of the genre and one of Persson’s best novels to date.


  • “Swedish mysterian Persson brings a memorable creation to a close in this pensive whodunit. /.../ There aren’t many red herrings: the real mystery in this well-paced though brooding story is what to do with what Johansson uncovers about the “perfectly ordinary, decent Swede” to whom all the evidence points. Indeed, the crux of the story lies in Johansson’s wrestling with an appropriate solution to a crime that, incredibly, is fast slipping to the other side of the statute of limitations: does he let the bad guy get away, or does he take justice into his own hands? A knotty, sinuous story that leads to a hard-won resolution—and a decidedly conclusive end.”

    Kirkus Reviews, US

  • “A brilliant police procedural /.../ it is almost impossible to put down. An absolutely masterful crime novel.”

    Booklist *Starred Review*, US

  • “[A] cleverly plotted police procedural ”

    Publishers Weekly, US

  • “Persson is more authentic than Stieg Larsson... With this amazing novel, Persson proves himself to be a significant voice, classic yet original, on the overly-exhausted Scandinavian crime fiction scene. A blend of tradition and innovation.”

    La Repubblica, Italy

  • “Read the book for its teeming sarcasm, its humor and its portrait of a dying detective and his tender, almost beautiful, relationships to friends and family – and perhaps to get a sharpened view of morals and revenge, also within the police force. Gifted entertainment set in a macho world.”


    Fyns Amtsavis, Denmark

  • “Leif GW Persson is quite simply an oasis… An extraordinarily fascinating, double-edged story that is extremely hard to put down.”


    Jyllands-Posten, Denmark

  • “[The Dying Detective] is an excellent book that is clever, amusing and imaginative without being predictable or prejudiced.”

    Folketidende, Denmark

  • “The weightiest reason why one should read The Dying Detective is Persson’s excellent prose and characteristically bone-dry humor.”

    Børsen, Denmark

  • The Dying Detective is simply phenomenally brilliant without one single unnecessary page.”


    Politiken, Denmark

  • “A meticulous masterpiece.”

    Sydsvenskan, Sweden

  • “[Leif GW Persson] remains unthreatened as the King of Swedish crime writing. Period.”

    Kvällsposten, Sweden

  • “The novel has all the qualities that readers have come to expect from this author: intelligent entertainment, suspense, coarse humor and small portions of self-irony.”

    Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden

  • “[Leif GW Persson] is a divinely gifted storyteller.”

    Dagens Nyheter, Sweden

  • “[Leif GW Persson] has inherited the position that was once held by Vilhelm Moberg: the author as public ombudsman, one who examines Swedish society, and speaks up when something is wrong.”

    Sveriges Radio, Sweden

  • “Magical!”


    Expressen, Sweden

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Photo: #{bookData.artist.imageByline}Leif GW Persson
  • Crime
Reading material

German edition

Swedish edition

Rights sold

Czech Republic, Moba

Denmark, Modtryk

Finland, Otava

France, Rivages

Germany, Btb

Italy, Marsilio

Japan, Tokyo Sogensha

Korea, Elixir

Netherlands, Cargo

Norway, Vigmostad & Bjørke

Poland, Czarna Owca

Spain, Grijalbo (World Spanish)

Sweden, Albert Bonniers

UK, Doubleday

US, Knopf

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