Any Swede old enough to remember knows where they were when their prime minister Olof Palme was assassinated. On 28 February 1986, Palme was walking home from the cinema with his wife when an unknown assailant stepped out from the shadows and shot him. We mourned not just the man, but the death of the nation that Palme personified — a safe place where nobody, not even the prime minister, needed protection.
As though to emphasise the inconceivability of the event, the murder investigation became a textbook study of police incompetence. Frustrated by the lack of progress, countless ordinary citizens began to conduct their own inquiries, fuelled by various conspiracy theories.
One of the people who caught the ‘Palme bug’ was the late crime writer Stieg Larsson.