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Maxim Jakubowski's view...
One of our Great Reads you may have missed in 2011.
Winner of the CWA International Dagger 2011.
Further explorations of the dark side of Swedish society with a particularly brutal and vivid touch. An undercover cop is sent to a high security prison to investigate a drug-related murder. But all is not what it seems and a gallery of grotesques soon joins the dance in a plot that circles many times on itself and always comes up with the unexpected. The authors are a duo of investigative journalist and actual ex-criminal, so familiar with the dark side.
CWA Judges’ comments: ‘The Swedish duo’s usual maverick cop takes a back seat to a riveting exploration of a deniable operation involving an undercover agent deep inside a criminal organisation. Their new character, doomed to betrayal by political manoeuvring, fights for his life with great intelligence and courage.’February 2011 Book of the Month.
A "Piece of Passion" from the Publisher...
"Roslund and Hellstrom's Three Seconds offers readers as tense
and gripping, edge of seat experience as any novel I can remember
reading. And a last twist that defies expectations and leaves the reader
wrung out like an old dishcloth. It's what the very best thrillers can
Like Larsson's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Three Seconds starts in a pretty leisurely way and you have to be patient and find your way into this dangerous and terrifying world. Once there you find that the authors don't complicate matters - you are with the hero each step; you will find out why he has a way with tulips and what purpose he has with library books which no-one else will ever borrow, once he gets into the vicious Aspas high security prison.
I heard about these authors when their agent gave me a copy of their first novel to be translated into English and persuaded me to commission a translation of Three Seconds, which was just about to be published in Sweden. After some indecision we took the plunge and watched R&H become the true successors to Mankell and Larsson as their new novel dominated the bestseller lists and critical heights of the Scandinavian press.
And when the wonderful translation from Kari Dickson came in we felt intoxicated - with the book, with the potential of the book, with the authors whom we had met and knew would be great advocates of Three Seconds and the knowledge that for Quercus, Swedish crime would not end with the incomparable Larsson."
- Jon Riley, Editor at Quercus BooksWho is Maxim Jakubowski
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Three Seconds by Anders Roslund, Borge Hellstrom
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 Hellstrom, the heirs apparent to Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell as the masters of Scandinavian crime.
'The action is non-stop and the tension unlimited'
'Gripping and intelligent ... Destined for the big screen'
'Three seconds is just about how long it feels it takes to read Three Seconds ... Terrific'
About the Author
Publication date3rd February 2011
AuthorAnders Roslund, Borge Hellstrom
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PublisherQuercus Publishing Plc
Publisher ProfileQuercus Publishing Plc is an imprint of Quercus
Starting out in a small office in Dorset Street, London, the company quickly expanded, producing best sellers with each of its first two titles, Universe and Speeches that Changed the World.
As well as winning awards for their books Quercus also won Small Publisher of the Year at the British Book Industry Awards and the PLUS New Company fo the Year in the Fast Growth Business Awards.