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I haven't read three of the books you mention up there, but I agree with your comments on Dosteovsky's characters. I think you'd like what Nabokov has to say about him in Lectures on Russian Literature. He detests Dosteovsky, and even though he admits to disliking biographical, ad hominem, attacks on authors, he can't help himself with this guy:

"I hate tampering with the precious lives of great writers and I hate Tom-peeping over the fence of those lives - I hate the vulgarity of 'human interest,' I hate the rustle of skirts and giggles in the corridors of time -and no biographer will ever catch a glimpse of my private life; but this I must say. Dostoevski's gloating pity for people - pity for the humble and humiliated - this pity was purely emotional and his special lurid brand of the Christian faith by no means prevented him from leading a life extremely removed from his teachings."

Have you read any of the other Sjowall/Wahloo books? They're fucking brilliant. Try #7 (The Abominable Man) for some upsetting, realistic, gripping stuff.

I haven't had the chance to check out the Sjowall canon beyond Laughing--was turned onto it by a Scandinavian contingent of architects. They will serve as an upcoming adventure. Thanks for the rec

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