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The author of the Millennium novels laid out the clues Now a journalist is following themWhen Stieg Larsson died the author of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo had been working on a true mystery that out twisted his Millennium novels the assassination on February 28 1986 of Olof Palme the Swedish prime minister It was the first time in history that a head of state had been murdered without a clue who’d done it—and on a Stockholm street at point blank rangeInternationally known for his fictional far right villains Larsson was well acuainted with their real life counterparts and documented extremist activities throughout the world For years he’d been amassing evidence that linked their terrorist acts to what he called “one of the most astounding murder cases” he’d ever covered Larsson’s archive was forgotten until journalist Jan Stocklassa was given exclusive access to the author’s secret projectIn The Man Who Played with Fire Stocklassa collects the pieces of Larsson’s true crime puzzle to follow the trail of intrigue espionage and conspiracy begun by one of the world’s most famous thriller writers Together they set out to solve a mystery that no one else could

10 thoughts on “Stieg Larssons arkivNyckeln till Palmemordet

  1. says:

    ”Stieg Larsson’s three books—known as the Millennium Trilogy or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series—have sold than eighty million copies but his greatest achievement wasn’t writing thrillers He devoted his entire adult life to fighting right wing extremism”There was a lot of speculation after Stieg Larsson died at the tender age of 50 that one of the numerous right wing groups he had been investigating had murdered him Maybe even the very people who assassinated Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme on February 28th 1986 The thought of Stieg dying at the hands of the unprincipled people he investigated made a better story and a fascinating end to an investigative journalist’s life than that he died from climbing a flight of stairs The fact was that heart trouble had plagued his family His grandfather died from a massive heart attack in his 50s Couple that with the evidence that Stieg spent years working a crushing number of hours eating poorly and sleeping for too few hours It was as if he knew he had a short time to live He left behind boxes and boxes of files on right wing extremism in Sweden He drew diagrams He investigated the assassination of Palme and put forth theories of who could have been behind it The incompetence of the police was a constant source of irritation to him and also to the man tasked with going through his files Jan Stocklassa It proved a treasure trove for a writer on his own uest to figure out who the actual triggerman was and who helped him Like with most murder investigations you start with motive Palme had made a lot of enemies He had thrwarted the aims of the South Africans regarding apartheid He had made enemies of most of the extremist groups in Sweden who either thought through his policies he did too little or overstepped by doing too much ”There were up to ten people who claimed that they knew about the assassination in advance and notified the press or the police and the police then leaked this to the press Two of these warnings stuck out because they had unuestionably been passed on to the authorities prior to the assassination and should therefore have resulted in Säpo raising the threat level for Palme’s security team which might have prevented the assassination from taking place”Now wasn’t that interesting? There was also a lot of chatter previous to the JFK assassination which reportedly Kennedy dismissed He was going to Texas a hostile state come hell or high water Depending on where you fall on the spectrum of Lee Harvey Oswald conspiracy theories there was even some evidence that Oswald tried to warn someone in the government that the assassination plans were in place So was it incompetence or complicity? That was a uestion that Larsson and Stocklassa asked themselves numerous times as they sifted through the same information decades apart Here was Stocklassa’s final take on the police force ”Once again the Swedish police failed where others succeeded but as Hanlon’s razor says never attribute to malice that which is adeuately explained by stupidity”After they warned about a potential assassination attempt nothing was done to beef up security around PalmeWhat was interesting about watching Stocklassa accumulate information was the tenacity with which he approached the evidence He was determined to run after this story until he ran out of land to support his feet He had to strip away some of Larsson’s suppositions as he found evidence to lead him in a different direction He went undercover and found a perfect Mata Hari in the enigmatic Lída Komárková who gained him valuable information that clicked over several tumblers that made him confident that he was close to unlocking the solution The resolution of the most egregious crime in Swedish history was nearly in his grasp This read like a thriller I felt like I was there with Stocklassa combing through the files and putting together charts of who knew whom and when The shooting itself was indicative of an amateur shooter The assassin only shot Palme once through the body and missed his wife with a second bullet A professional would have certainly put an extra bullet or two into the main target The one bullet was a lucky shot passing through Palme at the one place to do the most damage A slight deviation in bullet track and he very well might have lived I’m not sure the assassin ever expected to be allowed to get away but he did It was puzzling exactly how he did? The ineptitude and lack of formalized planning made me think about what Oswald kept yelling to the press”I’m a patsy” Could this shooter have been a patsy as well but put in place by a nefarious organization to do the job?You’ll have to decide for yourself as Stocklassa presents you with his evidence I want to thank for providing me with a free copy as part of their First Reads Program If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at

  2. says:

    45 starsThis work of creative non fiction by Jan Stocklassa offers a comprehensive overview of the murder of Olof PalmeAuthor Jan StocklassaSwedish Prime Minister Olof PalmeOn February 28 1986 Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was assassinated on the corner of Sveavägen and Tunnelgaten in Stockholm Corner of Sveavägen and Tunnelgaten in StockholmAfter dismissing his security guards for the evening Palme and his wife Lisbeth went to the movies then decided to walk home Olof Palme and his wife LisbethAs the couple was strolling along a gunman closed in and shot Palme in the back killing him almost instantly A second shot in Lisbeth's direction only drilled two holes into her coat and she was unharmed The killer then ran away and escapedThe hunt for the shooter spawned a laundry list of suspects and a plethora of conspiracy theories but at the time of this book's publication than three decades later the killer still hasn't been uneuivocally identified To write this narrative Jan Stocklassa relied heavily on the archives of Stieg Larsson the author of 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' series Writer Stieg LarssonMost people aren't aware that Larsson was originally an investigative journalist and illustrator who did extensive research on white nationalist right wing and neo Nazi groups in Sweden Larsson suspected that far right organizations conspired to assassinate Palme and immediately began investigating the murder from that point of view Larsson's theory morphed over time to include pro apartheid groups in South Africa because Palme strongly and vocally opposed this policy of racial segregation Apartheid signs in South AfricaLarsson died in 2004 but left reams of research about Palme's murder in the archives of 'Expo' magazine which he publishedStieg Larsson's Expo magazineThe Swedish authorities in charge of the Palme investigation were either as incompetent as Keystone Kops or scandalously corrupt because year after year they ignored valid clues and tried to nail their own bugbears for the crime Keystone KopsFiles related to the Palme assassination could probably fill a room and Stocklassa read innumerable documents for this book After immersing himself in the existing paperwork Stocklassa launched his own investigation doing research; traveling to South Africa and Cyprus; interviewing persons of interest; forming hypotheses; and working with a female 'spy' to gather additional information The result is this book which contains a fascinating analysis of the Palme killing Some reviewers kvetch about the length of the book and the large number of people with hard to pronounce names but this didn't bother meAfter describing the actual shooting Stocklassa devotes many pages to the observations of various witnesses some of whom allegedly saw surveillers with walkie talkies following the Palmes and some of whom think they saw the killer running away or climbing into a getaway car In addition the author discusses wife Lisbeth Palme's confusion about the shooter's appearance and the creation of a composite photo from the observations of a nightclub worker on a cigarette breakComposite drawing of Palme's shooter left beside a photo of Jan StocklassaAs the assassination tale unfolds Stocklassa identifies the multiple persons and law enforcement agencies who ran the Palme investigation The first man in charge Police Commissioner Hans Holmér was dubbed Sherlock Holmér 😊 Unfortunately Hans didn't have Sherlock's success and was replaced after a time In fact the investigative personnel changed several times over the years as one alleged perpetrator after another fizzled outPolice Commissioner Hans HolmérThe main suspects targeted by Swedish officials were in turn the Kurdistan Workers Party PKK; Swedish extremist Viktor Gunnarsson; and criminal drug addict Christer Pettersson Kurdistan Workers PartyExtremist Viktor GunnarssonCriminal Christer PetterssonWhen these targets didn't lead to an ultimate conviction the Swedish cops were seemingly at a loss though investigative reporters and true crime aficionados suggested many other suspectsA good part of the book is devoted to journalists' and authors' speculations about who might have conspired to kill Palme Suspects include Swedish right wing zealots; Swedish intelligence officers; Swedish cops; Iran Contra schemers; South African spies; South African political organizations; Americans who supported apartheid for monetary purposes; and Once Stocklassa formed a solid theory about the perpetrators he conducted his own intelligence operation with Lída Komárková Lída KomárkováLída is a beautiful fearless Czech woman who buddied up to a prime suspect while sporting spy paraphernalia including a pen camera recorder; a GPS device; and eyeglasses with a hidden cameraIn the end Stocklassa's discoveries DO suggest a likely shooter and a location for the murder gun Moreover Stocklassa outlines an entire assassination operation that involves a leader; a planning group; a murder group; a surveillance group; and a patsy The Swedish authorities have this information and may eventually resolve the mysteryor not given their woeful historyA fascinating to me chapter of the book includes a report from Stieg Larsson's archives called A Study of Assassination which outlines pros and cons of assorted assassination techniues possibly compiled by the CIA The methods included are Manual Use your bare hands which is very hard unless you're an expert; use a tool like an axe hammer or screwdriver; use a rock or heavy object to administer blunt force trauma to the head; employ a rope or belt for strangulation; etc Accidents Arrange a fall from a height of 75 feet or ; cause a cartruck accident; push someone in front of a train or bus; etc Drugs Administer a lethal dose of some sedative or painkiller like morphine if you're a doctor or nurse this is especially convenient Edge weapons knives swords bayonets etc Either pierce the heart or sever the spinal cord in the cervical region Firearms These are less reliable than many people think; if you use a gun it should have immense destructive power Explosives Very effective; make sure the victim is less than six feet from the detonationIn fact Palme's assassination was associated with the demise of MANY individuals who may have colluded to commit the crime or worked to unmask the perpetrators And lots of these deaths were 'accidents' 😲 Stocklassa speculates that this may have been an attempt to tie up loose ends andor protect the most prominent conspirators Stieg Larsson and Jan Stocklassa also endured repercussions from their investigations but these were largely self inflicted Larsson smoked incessantly and both men hung out in cafes with strong coffee and delicious pastrieswhich piled on the pounds Café in StockholmThis is an excellent true crime narrative that reads like a mystery thriller Highly recommended to readers interested in the subjectOlof Palme Memorial Plaue in StockholmYou can follow my reviews at

  3. says:

    In this uniue book—mixing true crime political assassination espionage and journal entries—Jan Stocklassa recounts events surrounding one of Sweden’s most baffling cold cases On the evening of February 28th 1986 Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was out with his wife when he was shot in the back and died The assailant fled the scene and police were forced to cobble together eyewitness accounts though they remained uite flimsy Struggling journalist Stieg Larsson took up the case when he was roused from bed and began trying to piece together what he knew Sightings and evidence from the scene led some of believe that Victor Gunnarsson might be a likely suspect Gunnarsson was well known to Larsson who had a history of working to uncover and topple those on the political right with his strong articles However Gunnarsson’s guilt soon wavered and the country was clueless as to what might have happened Larsson used his intuitive nature and some friends in the British press to help him scope out new leads including some ties to other right wing organisations Larsson’s primary focus was a man with strong ties to the South African government at the time still strong in their apartheid movement something that Palme had been vocally against during his time in Swedish politics When the case went cold and Larsson could go no further he turned to writing what would become his most popular Millennium Trilogy for which he is best known by many readers When Larsson dies soon thereafter Jan Stocklassa was given all his research on the Palme case and thus began a resurgence in the fact checking and pushing for answers In the latter portion of the book Stocklassa moves away from laying out what Larsson offered up and followed new and decisive leads to find a killer in a case that had long gone cold but was never far from the minds of Swedish officials Using these leads and some of his own dabbling into new technology not available at the time Stocklassa offers readers a new suspect with strong evidence to support the claims In an investigation that Stieg Larsson began on March 1 1986 Jan Stocklassa may have finally locked in an answer though the authorities have yet to act on everything in this book Highly entertaining as well as informative Stocklassa and Larsson presents loads of prevalent information and leave the reader with a strong sense that the case might finally have an answer Recommended to those who love a good true crime mystery as well as the reader who wishes to learn much about Stieg Larsson before any talk of dragon tattoos came to lightI was eager to read this book as soon as it crossed my radar There is much to learn about the case especially since I knew nothing about it from the outset Stocklassa does a wonderful job of laying out the basics and using Stieg Larsson’s early notes and work to give the reader the proper context From there through a series of formats the reader is plunged into the middle of the investigation Stocklassa admits to using first hand documentation which further strengthens the Larsson angle of the entire investigation The case is full of suspects and branch off possibilities—much like a strong murder mystery—with espionage and the murder of many in a variety of political and social situations going to show that South Africa was keen to rid itself of dissenters and those who sought to criticise Even when Stocklassa took over the case himself there were so many loose ends and trying to tie them off proved difficult for anyone even a seasoned journalist The themes brought up throughout make a strong case for a new suspect one who could likely be convicted That being said when dealing with cases that have gone cold for so long as well as the need to apply for extradition the waters become murkier even if the truth shines strong In a book full of information Stocklassa mixes journal entries press clippings private musings and evidence analysis to prove a point and make a strong case With brief chapters the momentum of the case is not lost on the reader who may worry about being drowned in minutiae Sweden appears keen to close the case out as there is still a Palme Investigation taking place albeit on a smaller scale A wonderful piece of true crime that reads like a spy novel at times which will educate the reader with any interest in the subjectKudos Mr Stocklassa for such a wonderful piece that not only revives the case of Olof Palme but also helps readers see a Stieg Larsson before he became a household name in Scandinavian crime thrillers I know he would be proud of the work you put into this bookLovehate the review? An ever growing collection of others appears at Book for All Seasons a different sort of Book Challenge

  4. says:

    The Man Who Played with Fire by Jan Stocklassa is a true crime book which gives us comprehensive details about the assassination of the then Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986It is very strange and uncommon that the murder of a head of state remains unsolved for decades After getting interested in the case the author sets about trying to solve it During his research he comes across the research done by journalist turned author of the Millenium series of novels Stieg Larsson when he was alive Jan then uses both their researches to bring the case to a satisfactory conclusion though not the evidence that could be held up in a court of lawAs it stands the case is officially closed It is sad that the line of research Jan took wasn't really followed by the detectives assigned to the case After all he has generated some pretty solid leads which if followed might have turned out different results than the official oneThis book has got me interested in the life and works of Stieg Though neither have I read any of his books nor watched their movie adaptations they are now on my TBR and to watch lists respectivelyVerdict Highly recommended

  5. says:

    Good heavens this was boring Boring boring boring The premise sounded good The author combined his research with years of research left behind by the famous novelist Stieg Larsson in regards to the unsolved assassination of the Swedish prime minister Olof Palme in 1986 The investigation was hopelessly botched by the police The author provides too much tedious detail which shows all his and Larsson's intense efforts but you know what? It's still unsolved so the book is rather pointless in addition to being a boring litany of excessive detail It might resonate better if you are Swedish but having read many true crime books I can say this is the worst

  6. says:

    Jan Stocklassa consulted Eva Gabrielsson Steig Larrson’s long time companion on a research project relating to architecturegeography and crime What she had to say took his research in a totally different direction that consumed him for the next 7 yearsWell known for his fictional trilogy Larrson’s life work was in countering right wing and Nazi extremism He investigated researched and wrote for his own publications and others The intersection of Stocklassa’s interests and Larsson’s was the 1986 assassination of Sweden’s Prime Minister Olof Palme Larsson’s extensive files containing clippings hand written notes biographies and government reports became the framework for Stocklassa’s researchPalme’s anti Apartheid stance and his disruption of the South African and Swedish parts of the US’s Iran Contra Arms deal earned him powerful enemies His social policies set off right wingers who convinced themselves he was giving Sweden to the USSRHis research took Stocklassa to Cyprus South Africa and rural Sweden He describes his spy craft cameras in pens and glasses and use of Facebook and those who assist him and those he interviews South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation testimony contained applicable confessions and gave prosecutorial immunity such that some were willing to be interviewed A chart on pages 380 383 shows the broad reach of the bombings and assassinations by those who most likely planned the Palme assassination Of all the people playing with fire Lida is the most intriguing Her identity is well screened Mossad? CIA? She was fearless comfortable with spycraft and an excellent actressI didn’t know but was not surprised that the CIA had an assassination manual Recommended is having a hapless person who is or appears to be a true believer either pull the trigger or stand at the crime scene In the Kennedy assassination to which the Palme assassination can be compared for its impact and cover up it was Lee Harvey Oswarld and in this case it is Jakob Thedelin who looks like the composite drawing of the 10 witness who saw the likely assassin fleeing He was not interrogated during the investigation; Was the investigation corrupted by sympathizers of the assassins in the various investigation teams?The lack of an index is a serious omission There are so many people it is hard to keep track of them The List of Characters at the end lacks sufficient detail to be of help Entries for “Suspects” and the “ South African Connections” are so spare you cannot distinguish one from the other I suggest that readers take notes on the characters to place them when they re appear Not as serious an omission but still a need is the lack of documentation While Larsson’s files books and news reports are noted in the text full documentation would be helpful As of the date of this book review the murder has still not been officially solved Although the evidence is circumstantial I believe Stocklassa has found the killer This is an excellent research report Short chapters make for a uick read A lot of it feels like a mystery novel The lack of a much needed index or at least a helpful character list takes it from a 5 star to a 4 star book for me

  7. says:

    This is a tremendous true crime novel based on the meticulous and detailed research made by the author who had access to Stieg Larsson's archive from his years as publisher of the infamous Expo magazine We all know Stieg Larsson as the man who was behind the publishing phenomenon of the Millenium trilogy but only a few are aware of his work as a journalist which was dedicated to unmasking the extreme right in Sweden that gradually gained power from the beginning of the 1980s Larsson began working in one of Sweden's biggest news agencies TT as an illustrator and while he was working there the unbelievable happened The country's Prime Minister Olof Palme was shot in the middle of Stockholm's center as he was returning home along with his wife Lisbet Palme who was by nature an inuiring individual began immediately to gather information regarding the murder that soon led him to some of his own theories The presentation of those theories is the main objective for Stocklaasa in The Man Who Played With FireTo read my full review visit

  8. says:

    Before starting this book I'd never known anything about an assassination in Sweden or the personal life of Stieg Larsson I'd never even read his fiction books The author Jan Stocklassa makes an exhaustive and interesting case for who not only who the assassin was but all the moving parts that went into getting there and having it still unresolved

  9. says:

    The description starts hard boiled as true crime can get with tantalizing lost research of authorjournalist Stieg Larsson on the ultimate cold case the assassination Prime Minister Olof Palme February 28 1986 That's one hell of a pitch and I couldn't resist taking a crack at it The reality is Jan Stocklassa's globe trotting multi lingual adventure has less to with Steig than catching the bug of citizen investigation in the vein of Michelle McNamara with roughly the same results not much Jan's antics involve a few interesting characters like the over sold mysterious Leahta who boldly inserts herself the case Was there a multinational South African assassination attempt? I'd probably hedge my bets no Instead of uncovering the truth Stocklassa presents an interesting but less compelling alternative narrative Certainly the actors were capable but instead felt like lonely old men who society has forgotten looking to regale any listener be it a foreign journalist or mysterious attractive younger woman Stocklassa chases the ghost of Larsson at every corner asking What would Stieg do? and Stocklassa seems intent on name dropping latter portions of the book to remind us why we bought the book Had this been simply a roleplay exercise this would have fizzled out but Jan has caught a clinical grade case of the whodunits and leads him to do just about anything to get close to his targetsAlso interesting is the mild controversy over the novel here in the US included it with its Prime book club which ruffled the feathers of conservatives as any book that makes the right wing in this case across the globe involving fascist groups with NaziNeo Nazi ties clearly the work of the shaking fist at sky liberals Of course this book has very little to do with the United States sans cold war geopolitics or has little to say about Trumpism sans general statements berating racismxenophobia Anyone complaining hasn't read it or has paper thin skin There's a greater irony of the outrage but it's not worth unpacking hereEven if the book is tangentially about Stieg we do get a peek in the paranoid shadowy spook filled cabals of right wing power brokers that made up Stieg's Millennium Trilogy and the story is interesting even if I don't buy the final conclusion To circle back to Michelle McNamara's I'll Be Gone in the Dark the victory wasn't unearthing groundbreaking clues or finding community in a group of like minded wannabes If Palme's killer is caught it likely won't be Stieg or Jan's work but rather renewing interest in a cold case to motivate the pros to finish

  10. says:

    Drags on a bit but still reads almost like fiction Not as much Stieg Larsson as I wanted of a continuation into his research on the assassination of the Swedish prime minister in the 80s ”What you are holding in your hands is a work of creative nonfiction It is written like a thriller but it’s factual”