Three Seconds Paperback – Nov 1 2011
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“[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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
I'm astonished that a film hasn't been made of this riveting book. This thriller is one that will keep you awake until you reach the final page. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Gwen Kerr