Not much was left of the city where Kollberg was born and grew up. With the approval of the city planners, the steam shovels of property speculators and the bulldozers of the traffic 'experts' had devastated most of the respectable old settlement. By now the few sanctuaries of culture that remained were pitiful to look at. The city's character, atmosphere and style of life had disappeared, or rather, changed, and it wasn't easy to do anything about it.
Meanwhile more creaks were coming from the police machinery, which was overworked, partly because of the shortage of men. But here were other, more important reasons.
It was less important to recruit more policemen than to get better ones – no one seemed to have thought of that.
Thought Lennart Kollberg.
It took a while to get out to the housing project managed by Hampus Broberg. It was located far to the south, in a area that had been countryside in Kollberg's youth, a place where he used to go on school excursions when he was a child. It resembled far too many of the rent traps built during recent years – an isolated group of high-rise flats, slapped together quickly and carelessly, whose sole purpose was to make as large a profit as possible for the owner while at the same time guaranteeing unpleasantness and discomfort fo the unfortunate people who had to live there. Since the housing shortage had been kept alive arartificially for many years even these flats were in great demand, and the rents were close to astronomical.