Marxist SF: "The Murder on the 31st Floor” by Per Wahlöö

Murder on the 31st floor - PETER WAHLOO

Published for the first time in 1964 (2011 edition read).


NB: First read in German a long time ago. This is my first reading in English.


“The Murder on the 31st Floor” starts as a spiritual murder of cultural criticism, the freedom of expression and then in the physical liquidation of the last social critics.


“The Murder on the 31st Floor” is a novel in several ways that breaks with Wahlöös earlier novels, which mostly take place in foreign dictatorships, mainly Spain and Latin America. But all his novels, from the beginning, with the football novel "Sky Goat" (1959), are power studies of various types.  


Clear archetypal elements include the crime to be solved by a solitary detective. A corrupt and painted black society belonging to the American hard-boiled crime novel and not to the usual Scandinavian Crime Fiction novel. This, juxtaposed with the dictatorial social structure and elements of social fiction, allows the novel to violate the templates of formulaic literature. Instead we can see the flowing to the surface of a leftist social criticism, which results in a scenario portraying an utopian state.


Read on.