11 February 2011

Review: THREE SECONDS, Roslund & Hellstrom

Publisher: Silver Oak, January 2011
Translated from Swedish by Kari Dickson
485 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4027-8592-4
Source: my copy was supplied by the publicist and I participated in a giveaway promo in December 2010.

Check my earlier post for the publisher's blurb. In this one I'm going to focus on "my take".

THREE SECONDS is about a sting set up at the highest level in the Swedish police system to eradicate a Polish drug mafia operating in Sweden. Central to the sting is Paula alias Piet Hoffmann, recruited in gaol some 10 years earlier, a criminal who has been infiltrating the company set up by the Polish mafia.

A botched drug deal that results in the death of a Danish police officer  is designed to put Paula inside prison, to begin infiltration at the highest level. As with all such covert operations there are those who know what is going on and those who don't. There is always the danger that one of those who is "not in the know" will stumble across information that does not add up. One of those excluded from the insider information is Detective Inspector Ewert Grens of the Stockholm City Police. Grens is a dangerous man to leave out of any secret, and he begins in his bulldog fashion to sniff deeper when the facts simply don't tally.

THREE SECONDS wasn't easy reading. The plot seems to be heading in one direction, and then darts off in another. More than once I consulted the Cast of Characters page at the beginning of the novel, and more than once I was glad that the chapters were broken up into digestible bits. But by the middle of what is really quite a long book, I was hooked. I couldn't work out for the life of me how the plot was going to devolve. In the long run it was all very clever. In addition it felt very authentic and credible.

My rating: 4.6

Other reviews to check:
In 2009, THREE SECONDS was awarded the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers' Award for Swedish Crime Novel of the Year.
It was a top 10 best-seller in Sweden for 8 months.
It has been shortlisted in the Best British Novel category (this refers to where it was published) for a 2011 Barry Award.

I am going to list THREE SECONDS in my books for the Nordic Challenge 2011


Anonymous said...

Kerrie - Thanks for this review. I've been reading some very good things about Three Seconds, and have been wanting to try it, myself. I think it'll have to move up on the TBR list...

bermudaonion said...

I keep reading great reviews of this book. I'm glad to know it starts out a little slow.

Wendy said...

Glad to see you enjoyed this one, Kerrie...I thought the last part of the book was the best (I blew through the final 150 pages without a break!). Thanks for the linky love too :)


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