Stålsprånget The Steel Spring

Inspector Jensen #

Not a crime, but a peculiarly chilling and plausible political horror is the subject of the second and final part in Per Wahlöö’s diptych with Chief-Inspector Jensen. Already known to readers of the first part in the diptych, Murder On The Thirty-First Floor, Chief-Inspector Jensen is not a detective in the ordinary fictional sense. He belongs to a hypothetical but discomfittingly realistic Northern country of the near future, where paternalistic government, on the principles of the broilerhouse, has been carried to its logical end. Where newspapers are designed for reassurance, unsolved difficulties are concealed and suppressed, and wrong thoughts are held to be unthinkable. In The Steel Spring, this country of the sterile and half-alive is suddenly cut off from communication with the rest of the world, and from its own governing class who have fled the capital. Jensen returns to penetrate the silence and mystery of the sudden curtain that has fallen over the people.

In Per Wahlöö’s powerfully imaginative diptych with Chief-Inspector Jensen, Murder On The Thirty-First Floor and The Steel Spring, he clearly demonstrates the gift he and Orwell possesses, namely that of elevating the expression of his ideas by apparently depersonalising his subjects.

Per Wahlöö
  • Crime
Reading material

Swedish edition

English edition

French edition

Rights sold

France, Rivages

Germany, Rowohlt

Italy, Einaudi

Poland, Albatros

Spain, RBA (World Spanish)

Sweden, Piratförlaget

UK, Vintage

US, Vintage

Film rights sold

Sweden, Doppelganger Film

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Inspector Jensen