Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Three Seconds - Roslund & Hellström

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. Follow Roslund & Hellström on Twitter and Three Seconds on Facebook.


bermudaonion said...

I keep reading good things about this one - I need to give it a try.

Jenn's Bookshelves said...

I just recently obtained a copy of this one; I can't wait to start it! I'm excited to hear that there will be a movie version of it soon!

Paul said...

I love good authors and have devoured novels by Baldacci, Child, Cornwell, Coben, and Grisham. Roslum and Hellstrom are a great discovery. You have to get use to the Swedish nomenclature, but after that, hold on to your hat and enjoy the ride!