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Three Seconds [Hardcover]

Anders Roslund , Börge Hellström , Kari Dickson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
RRP: £14.99
Price: £12.83 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 Sep 2010

Piet Hoffmann is the best undercover operative in the Swedish police force, but only one other man is even aware of his existence. After a drug deal he is involved in goes badly wrong, he must face the hardest mission of his life - infiltrating Sweden's most infamous maximum-security prison.

Detective Inspector Ewert Grens is charged with investigating the drug-related killing. Unaware of Hoffmann's real identity, he believes himself to be on the trail of a dangerous psychopath. But he cannot escape the feeling that vital information pertaining to the case has been withheld or manipulated.

Hoffmann has his insurance: wiretap recordings that implicate some of Sweden's most prominent politicians in a corrupt conspiracy. But in Ewert Grens they might just have found the perfect weapon to eliminate him.

Intelligent, gripping, brutal, Three Seconds is the new thriller from Roslund and Hellström, the heirs apparent to Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell as the masters of Scandinavian crime.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus; First Edition edition (30 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184916150X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849161503
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 541,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'The action is non-stop and the tension unlimited' The Times.

'Gripping and intelligent ... Destined for the big screen' Daily Mirror.

'Three seconds is just about how long it feels it takes to read Three Seconds ... Terrific' Time Out.

'Extraordinarily compelling' Daily Mail. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

Piet Hoffmann is the best undercover operative in the Swedish police force, but only one other man is even aware of his existence. After a drug deal he is involved in goes badly wrong, he must face the hardest mission of his life - infiltrating Sweden's most infamous maximum-security prison. Detective Inspector Ewert Grens is charged with investigating the drug-related killing. Unaware of Hoffmann's real identity, he believes himself to be on the trail of a dangerous psychopath. But he cannot escape the feeling that vital information pertaining to the case has been withheld or manipulated. Hoffmann has his insurance: wiretap recordings that implicate some of Sweden's most prominent politicians in a corrupt conspiracy. But in Ewert Grens they might just have found the perfect weapon to eliminate him.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I ordered this book because I had seen it received a Swedish Crime Writers award and, given the quality of Scandinavian crime-writing, I felt that meant it had to be good.

I found the initial chapters and storyline unpleasant - almost vomit-making (if you've read it you will know why) - but I persevered. The characters became increasingly intriguing and the plot decidedly complicated - just how I like it.

By a third of the way through, I was steaming through the book like a high-speed train. Every spare moment was an opportunity to read a bit more.

I definitely warmed to grumpy Ewart Grens - a typical misanthropic Scandinavian detective, but probably with good reason for his behaviour and attitude. I will be reading the earlier novels in this series.

Highly recommended.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Innovative and Exciting Thriller 24 Oct 2010
By Simon Clarke TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
'Three Seconds' is Roslund and Hellstrom's third novel to be published
in English,all featuring the grumpy Detective Inspector Ewert Grens.
It was,with good reason,a huge bestseller in the authors' home country,
Sweden.
The plot focuses around Piet Hoffman,a police informer,who has infiltrated
Wotjek Security,which is a cover for a Polish drug-dealing operation.They
have decided to supply illegal drugs to Swedish prisoners,and Hoffman is
to get himself incarcarated in order to control the operation from the
inside.Prior to this he is a witness to a killing during a drug exchange,
which D.I.Grens-who 25 years after the event is still obsessed with the
accident and subsequent death of his female partner and colleague-
investigates.Grens enquiries are impeded by a cover-up and corruption in
high places.
This is a lengthy,exciting,well-plotted thriller,which goes into considerable
yet interesting detail regarding Hoffman's activities in his quest to stay
alive. One is ,though,left wondering as to his motivation in taking such
great risks ,especially as he has a close family.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic - I have discovered two new authors! 30 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback
At over 600 pages long this is a weighty tome for a crime novel but I can honestly say that I wish it was double the size! A marvellous look at the underbelly of the Scandinavian police and punishment system. Ewart Grens the main police character is recognisable from this genre - a moody, emotionally tortured policeman whose job is his life but you really start to identify with him thanks to the skill of the writers. I loved this book and will now read the other two novels by the same authors.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping thriller 22 Mar 2011
By Bluebell TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I haven't come across this writing duo before: Roslund a journalist and Hellstrom an ex-criminal. Between them them they've created a thriller with page-turning pace. It took me a few chapters to get into the story as the narrative switches between characters with unfamiliar sounding names located in geographical locations, apart from Stockholm, which I don't recognize. Rather like when I started to read Henning Mankell or Stieg Larsson novels, but like those books I soon got the hang of things.

Three Seconds is an extraordinary story about the lengths that the authorities might go to in order to undermine the criminal gangs from abroad who evidently dominate the supply of drugs to Scandinavia. The amount of convincing detail about how the gangs operate and the covert operations employed against them kept reminding me of Frederick Forsyth's writing who similarly gives his thrillers authenticity by inclusion of meticulously researched detail. As with Forsyth's books, women are largely absent; scenery, weather and surrounding are minimally referred to; and characters are not fleshed out by a lot of description but are there to carry-out the inventive story. The style of writing is economical without superfluous adjectives and natural flow must owe a lot to the translator. I would say it's more a man's book than a woman's, but I did enjoy it and thought it worthy Winner of Swedish Crime novel of the year.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing, finely tuned suspense. 6 Dec 2010
Format:Hardcover
Piet Hoffman, Swedish undercover police informer, has climbed very high in the ranks of the Polish Mafia when he helplessly witnesses a murder during a drug deal gone terribly wrong. While Inspector Ewert Grens investigates the murder, Hoffman's Mafia masters want him in prison to take over drug operations there. A secret arm of the law agrees, and offers him and his family protection and new identities for breaking the drug operations of the Mafia in the Swedish prison system. But they reckoned without the indefatigable Grens, intent on solving his case all unaware of the secret agenda.

This stunningly well-written police procedural meets thriller meets psychological suspense novel succeeds in all three genres. At times the suspense was so well drawn, and had so drawn me in, that I had to put the book aside for awhile to regain my composure. Only Alfred Hitchcock had managed that previously. The details of the drug trade in the early chapters, while distressing to read, nonetheless set the story up perfectly.

This is the first book I have read by these authors, and I was very impressed. Definitely worth finding the earlier books and following the series in future.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I've read this year ! 16 Nov 2011
Format:Paperback
I don't know if my review counts for much, Three Seconds is not the kind of book women are allegedly drawn to, but then I'm not a woman who's drawn to the type of books women are allegedly drawn to, if you see what I mean?

Very much written in the style of one of my favourite author Gerald Seymour, Three Seconds is a page turner, full of suspense , an excellent gripping read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
Words cannot describe how good this book is!
Published 15 days ago by musicmad
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
.
Published 18 days ago by jim hole
3.0 out of 5 stars slow burner
This one takes a long time to get into but after you get past an initial slow moving first 100 pages or so it becomes a real page turner. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tom
5.0 out of 5 stars A classy Scandinavian detective story!
I found this book having read the girl with Tattoo books and it was suggested as a read by Amazon.
I do enjoy reading Scandinavian detective novels and this is no exception. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Tony Bendall
5.0 out of 5 stars Do not be put off by the slow start. This is a 6* book
'Three Seconds' by the two Swedish writers, Andres Roslund and Börge Hellström, is nothing if not authentic. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dr R
5.0 out of 5 stars yet another brilliant book.
This book is crying out for a TV series. Well written and a story that would come to life on the small screen.
Published 8 months ago by Chevin
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT FUNCTIONING
wAITED AGES FOR THIS only to find it does not work!
Cheap so no point requesting a refund for this item.
Published 9 months ago by Rosemary9468
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
This is a very exciting, well constructed story. The ending is totally unexpected - hence the title. Read more
Published 9 months ago by xanderkwt
3.0 out of 5 stars good but not a true thriller
good but not a true thriller. The basic outline is nice. There is no twist in the end. Could end up 50 pages before the actual end.
Published 9 months ago by Me
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
A well written and brilliantly constructed novel, fast paced and very exciting. I want to read more from this author
Published 10 months ago by VM Shepton
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