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Three Seconds Paperback – Nov 1 2011


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Amazon.ca First Novel Award - 6 Canadian Novels Make the Shortlist



Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: SilverOak; Rep Tra edition (Nov. 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781402788789
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402788789
  • ASIN: 1402788789
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 15.6 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 726 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #195,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“Gritty and fast-paced.” -- TODAY show
 
"Americans are finally catching on to what thriller fans around the world already know — that the Swedish team of Roslund & Hellstrom is writing explosive crime novels as good, if not better, than those of Stieg Larsson …. Gun play, explosions, betrayals and the ingenious ways drugs and weapons are smuggled into prisons give this novel, Roslund & Hellström's fifth, an eau de testosterone level that's through the roof." –USA Today

“[A] sprawling and often gripping thriller…. The gritty details of drug dealing, of prison life and of the relations between cops and informants are all rendered with convincing authority.”--Wall Street Journal
“Thrill-a-minute cat and mouse game…a grimly amoral tale.” --Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
 
“Twisty plot makes for propulsive reading.” --Entertainment Weekly
 
“A complex and surprising novel… A riveting story that serious readers will find worthwhile and memorable. Three Seconds hits its target. It is a tour de force.” --New York Journal of Books
 
“It's like Traffic on the Swedish-Polish border, but everything from the weather to the criminals' hearts is a little colder.” --People magazine
 
“The action quickly draws you in and continues to grip you to the final chapters of the novel. The authors have something to say, and Three Seconds proves to be an excellent way of doing it.” --
Associated Press
 
“These guys are their own kind of writers and if you love crime fiction you owe it to yourself to check out this book. Mobsters, drug dealers, corruption and loads of action. This is pure straight up Crime Fiction, no chaser, no apologies.” ––Crimespree
 
"Piet Hoffman is a devoted husband and the father of two young sons. He’s also an ex-con who has been working undercover for the Stockholm police for nine years. Code named “Paula,” Piet has risen through the ranks of the Polish mafia and is chosen to lead the Poles’ effort to control the supply of amphetamines in Sweden’s prisons. To do that, Paula must get himself arrested and sent to a maximum security prison, wipe out the existing supplier, and keep himself alive until he has all the information needed for the police to move on the gang. Roslund, a former journalist, and Hellstrom, a former criminal, have concocted a brilliant thriller that posits a nearly literal invasion of Sweden by East European criminals allied with former state security agents. Combine that with a morally compromised police and Ministry of Justice effort to combat the invasion, and you have a genuine crisis. Piet’s growing fear of discovery or betrayal and his angst at his beloved wife’s ignorance of his work ratchet up the story’s tension page by page and make the novel extremely difficult to put down. Named the Swedish Crime Novel of the Year in 2009, Three Seconds puts Roslund and Hellstrom in the company of Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson. Crime fiction rarely gets as good as this." -- Booklist [*Starred Review*]

About the Author

 Award-winning journalist Anders Roslund and ex-criminal Börge Hellström are Sweden's most acclaimed fiction duo. Their unique ability to combine inside knowledge of the brutal reality of criminal life with searing social criticism in complex, intelligent plots has put them at the forefront of modern Scandinavian crime writing. In 2009, Three Seconds was awarded the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers' Award for Swedish Crime Novel of the Year, previously won by both Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell, and it was a top 10 best seller in Sweden for eight months.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Feb. 2 2011
Format: Hardcover
Scandanavian authors have just exploded on North American reading lists following the runaway success of Stieg Larsson's books.

Finished that series and looking for another? You've got to try Three Seconds by Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström from Sweden. This pair are Sweden's number one crime writers. Here's the interesting thing - Roslund is an award winning journalist and Hellström is a an ex con. The combination of their talents and viewpoints have made their books a hit. Three Seconds was the Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year in 2009.

Piet Hoffman is a police informant, deep undercover, having infiltrated the Polish mafia. One last mission and the cops will have what they want and Piet can 'retire' into anonymity with his family. The job - go into the worst prison in Sweden and take control of the drug trade. With assurances that they'll try to get him out if things go bad, Piet agrees. But once he's in - he's on his own...

DI Ewert Grens is unaware of Piet Hoffman until his name comes up in a murder case. As Grens follows the threads of his investigation, it leads to more than just a simple murder. Ewert Grens is a character I want to read more of. He is an emotionally wounded man and very eccentric, but also terribly clever. Past cases are alluded to, but this never detracted from this book as a stand alone.

I couldn't put this one down. It's a gritty, gripping read that delves into the shadowy underworld. An intense, intrically plotted story that kept me turning pages. The ending was very clever - loved it.

Three Seconds is now on the New York Times bestseller list.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 22 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom;
I am understanding, I have strength.
By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.
By me princes rule, and nobles,
All the judges of the earth." -- Proverbs 8:14-16 (NKJV)

I found Three Seconds to be one of the best suspense stories I've read in many years. If you like suspense stories, I recommend this one.

Three Seconds delivers a most unusual anti-hero, Piet Hoffman, a criminal turned police informer who is rapidly climbing the ranks of organized crime in Sweden. You'll find yourself cheering him on, if for no other reason than appreciation for an underdog dealing with an impossible situation.

Three Seconds is a suspense novel about crime. Some parts of this book are so intense that I had to put the book down until I felt calmer. The book's strong emotions are brilliantly portrayed, and you'll feel them.

It's not all gut-wrenching, and parts may feel almost dull by comparison to the most vivid sections. Stick with the book and I think you'll feel like you've been on the world's scariest "amusement" ride before you're done.

There's also a lot of food for thought here, starting with the intricate and fascinating plot . . . and ending with questions you'll ask yourself about what justice truly is.

Bravo!
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By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER on Feb. 14 2015
Format: Hardcover
Book 5, in the Grens & Sundkvist series

This book is by far from being short in fact it is close to 500 pages of intense reading. The plot is multi-faceted and it takes its merry time to spring into action but once started it crakes up tension and our engagement with the novel. Some entering midstream into this series may feel at a lost since the bleakly eccentric protagonist has a very heart wrenching past which it essential to know.

The novel deals with criminals in contemporary Sweden, the Police and Probation Officials who monitor these offenders, and the government who wants to use them as undercover operatives. The story unfolds primarily in the streets and apartments of Stockholm and in Aspsas prison, a fictional jail not too far from the city. We also have side trips to both Denmark and Poland.

The narrative shifts points of view from Ewert Grens, a Stockholm detective who runs covert operatives to mules who smuggle drugs from Poland to Piet Hoffman, the most valuable undercover operative working as a front man for security firm with Mafia ties and to Erik Wilson, his handler.

When a drug buy goes wrong and a Danish police is exposed and killed while on a sting Hoffman needs to extricates himself from the complicity in the murder and negotiate a deal with bureaucrats. But Grens determined effort to solve the case threatens to expose not only Hoffman but also officials from various agencies involved with the operation. Intriguing enough n’est-ce pas?….well, also a bit complicated…

With the many things going on it takes a demanding but well worth effort to absorb the refined narrative which is quite heavy-handed with information and to get used to the complex style. This book is gritty, violent and unnerving and once the action takes place it becomes exciting and eventually turns into a real page-turner.
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By fussy on Aug. 2 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great thriller!
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By crazybatcow on Feb. 16 2011
Format: Hardcover
The story is well-written. Lots of details and a believable plot. Trouble is that it is VERY slow to get going. There are nearly 100 pages of setting up the story/characters which dragged on to the point where I wanted to skip ahead to when things actually started happening.

It's not a North American setting (duh) so most of the place names/geography were not familiar so I had no idea if smuggling from Poland to Sweden is a long distance, or just a quick bus trip. The names are also foreign, which was confusing until the characters are more developed (ie page 100+).

It is clear that the book is part of a series... there are "hints" around the main detective having a history that affects his current work/life but there are no details on this past so it's a bit confusing... we know he's troubled and that bad things happened to make him so, but we have no idea what or when.

Is it interesting enough to go back and read the earlier books in the series? Perhaps, if you don't mind non-North American politics/criminal activities and/or enjoy mafia criminal activity stories. Personally I like a bit more action and fewer characters to figure out.
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