Lastbilen A Necessary Action

This gripping and highly disturbing novel takes place in a coastal village in Spain – not the tourist Spain of toreadors and castanets, but a country of passionate and brooding people with the fury of the Civil War still fresh in their minds. A land of poverty, of hot summers and cold winters, and of violence hidden by fear. Against this backdrop, Dan and Siglinde Pedersen – a cheerful, irresponsible and beautiful couple from Norway – live in a dilapidated cottage with their lonely and introspective companion, Willi Mohr. When Siglinde Pederen sees her husband murdered, and is then brutally raped and killed, it sets Willi Mohr, the hitherto apathetic anti-hero, on his own violent road to resolving the conflict between alienation and commitment.

Regarded as one of the most extraordinary and exciting Scandinavian novels of the sixties, A Necessary Action is a unique fusion of tension, social insight, and awareness of the connection between political frustration and sexual violence.


  • A Necessary Action is necessary reading.”

    King Featues Syndicate, US

  • “The best…of this season’s crop….A novel that makes subtle and expert use of those elements that go into suspense fiction.”

    National Observer, US

  • “A finely written, highly intelligent study in detection and revenge, calculated to appeal to many more than lovers of mystery stories. /…/ The quality of the writing is admirable; he captures his characters with deft touches, and the plot is revealed in a manner both stately and compelling.”

    Illustrated London News, UK

  • “A leisurely and haunting account of revenge, life styles, a smattering of politics, and a pother of police procedure, the most low-key and diverting of recent memory.”

    Chicago, Ill Tribune, US

  • “Mr Wahlöö’s descriptive passages are vividly etched, yet for all their colour there is never a superfluous phrase to fatten the muscular lines of his narrative.”

    South Wales Echo, UK

  • “It is a brilliantly told story with grave bohemian characters and a mounting tension.”

    Guardian Journal, Nottingham

  • “Certainly there is no doubt about the originality of his talent.”

    Julian Symons, The Sunday Times, UK

  • The Lorry is polished and exciting like a detective novel, inevitably bringing to mind a portion of Graham Greene´s production, and I personally read it with the feeling of experiencing a dazzlingly stylistic trapeze act.”

    Norra Västerbotten, Sweden

  • “The novel The Lorry could have been a companion piece to For Whom the Bell Tolls. The stylized diction, excursions into the past and the hero without heroic qualities, yes, all this is Hemingwayesque. /…/ This is an exceptionally sure depiction, tightly controlled with short sentences — objective description. A gruesome and strongly engaging narrative.”

    NT-ÖD, Sweden

  • “You don´t need to read many pages of Per Wahlöö to be convinced of his narrative ability. He´s extroverted, politically aware, journalistically quick in his turns of phrase and has an unusually dramatic dexterity. /…/ A very stimulating and entertaining reading experience.”

    Dagens Nyheter, Sweden

  • “You won´t put it down before you're through reading it.”

    Västerbottens-Kuriren, Sweden

  • “The Lorry is a masterpiece of lucid, charged and exciting narrative art.”

    Östgöta Correspondenten, Sweden

  • “An extremely captivating novel, full of tension and atmosphere.”

    Västerviks-Tidningen, Sweden

  • “Several times I seem to hear Hemingwayesque strains in his novel. This is an influence that is in no way annoying or inhibiting. Wahlöö must be classified as an independent, and very talented, author.”

    Folket, Sweden

  • “A stiflingly dramatic book which from the very first page holds the reader´s interest captive.”

    Göteborgs-Posten, Sweden

  • “This is without a doubt an essential book.”

    Arbetartidningen, Sweden

  • “It´s like a perfectly cut diamond — hardened, transparent and beautiful in the purely mathematical sense.”

    LO-Tidningen, Sweden

Per Wahlöö
  • Crime
Reading material

Swedish edition

English edition

Rights sold

France, Rivages

Germany, Rowohlt

Poland, Albatros

Sweden, Piratförlaget

US, Vintage

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