The Man on the Balcony

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The Man on the Balcony
First edition (Swedish)
Author Sjöwall and Wahlöö
Original title Mannen på balkongen
Country Sweden
Language Swedish
Series Martin Beck series
Publisher Norstedts Förlag (Swedish)
Pantheon Books (English)
Publication date
Published in English
Pages 199 pp
Preceded by The Man Who Went Up in Smoke
Followed by The Laughing Policeman

The Man on the Balcony is the third novel in the detective series revolving around Swedish police detective Martin Beck, and was written by Sjöwall and Wahlöö and originally published as Mannen på balkongen in 1967.


Martin Beck and his team realize that a paedophilic murderer may have been seen by an unidentified serial robber who was watching for prey in the area, at the time. The pressure is turned up when more child murders begin to occur.

Characters and their development[edit]

The boorish detective Gunvald Larsson is introduced, as is Einar Rönn, who comes from a rural part of the country and likes his life quiet. Larsson was Sjöwall's favourite character, whereas Rönn was Wahlöö's.[citation needed] Also, two regular street cops are introduced, Kristiansson and Kvant, who will provide some of the comic relief throughout the rest of the series.

Film adaptation[edit]

On 26 November 1993 the film with the same name premiered in Sweden. The film starred Gösta Ekman as Martin Beck and Rolf Lassgård as Gunvald Larsson. It was a great success and won the Swedish Guldbagge Award for Best Actor (Gösta Ekman), Best Screenplay (Daniel Alfredson & Jonas Cornell) and Best Film (Hans Lönnerheden, producer).

Preceded by
The Man Who Went Up in Smoke
"Martin Beck" timeline, part 3 of 10 Succeeded by
The Laughing Policeman