In the middle of reading: Three Seconds

Roslund Unusually for me, I have spent since 12 September (i.e. all week) reading the same book (it's been a busy week with even less spare time than usual). Even more unusually, I'm only now half way though it. The book is Three Seconds by Roslund and Hellstrom, translated by Kari Dickson, and is published in the UK by Quercus on 30 September. The publisher has kindly sent me an advance copy, and when I have finished  it I'll submit a review to Euro Crime.

The book is extremely exciting, and was winner of Sweden's crime novel of the year. Although it is long, at 500 pages, it does not feel long while reading it.  The publisher's description:

"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."

There is also a video trailer, which I have not watched myself (partly in case there are any spoilers –  even though I'm half-way through, you never know!).

http://www.youtube.com/v/Zj6SyMv2FnU&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xd0d0d0&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1
 

About the authors:
"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." Their website is here.

There are and are going to be a lot of books coming out now that are likened to Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, not least this one. However, on this occasion the comparison is somewhat justified, as there are several elements in common between the novels. There are fewer similarities to Henning Mankell, I think, as Three Seconds (so far) is much more of a thriller than Mankell's novels that I've read.

Roslund and Hellstrom have had two books previously translated (or published, anyway) in English, The Beast and The Vault (a.k.a. Box 21). I've read the latter; my review of it is here. It is very dark and cynical. The Beast is reviewed at Euro Crime by Mary Wilde.

3 thoughts on “In the middle of reading: Three Seconds

  1. Maxine,
    Thank you for that information–and for not giving a full review-
    I don’t like reading full reviews of books –way before the publication
    date.
    This book was a huge seller in Sweden. The other similarity between
    these authors and Mankell and S.Larsson is they all avowedly use(used)
    their fiction to highlight social/political concerns.

  2. Thanks, Simon, I agree about waiting for the pub date to say more than is available on a publisher website or Amazon etc. I think there are quite a few similarities with (and differences from) S Larsson and I might write a bit more about this either in my review or in a future blog post.

  3. Thanks for the heads-up on this book. I am very leery of any authors who are touted as the next Stieg Larsson or next anybody. It’s such a publishing ploy. And, most authors have their own unique style and differ from each other; many have merit on their own.
    However, I look forward to your review and analysis of the book. (The video clip has no spoilers. It doesn’t go into the plot.)

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