Three Seconds - Roslund & Hellstrom
Released January 2011
Here it is. A new year's begun and I've found the book that I think people will talk about for months to come. If Hollywood doesn't pick up the rights to this film, I'll be truly surprised.
There are a few key characters in Three Seconds. Piet Hoffmann is one of the most important. He's an ex-con who's out of jail but has spent nine years as a police informant. When his latest "assignment" leads to murder, he realizes he's in a bad situation. While he once had only himself to worry about, Piet is married with two young sons and will do anything to keep them safe.
Superintendent Ewert Grens is investigating a murder of a Swedish man. He realizes the man must have been the buyer at this Polish Mafia drug deal gone wrong, but what he can't figure out is why the anonymous caller who called to report the murder is also Swedish. It makes no sense for the Polish Mafia to have had a Swede working on their side.
As Grens gets closer to the truth, Piet realizes his best chance for getting out of this is to do as the Polish Mafia wants. He's put back behind bars where he must smuggle in drugs, eliminate the current prison drug dealers and take over all drug trade within the prison. To do this, he must watch his back. Once inside, the police can't protect him and if the Mafia learn the truth, Piet is as good as dead.
Three Seconds is amazing. I want to make sure Kari Dickson gets credit for translating from Swedish to English. I've read translated books before and often get the feeling that the translator struggled to find the best words. Kudos to Ms. Dickson for a job well done.
The action never stops. While first impressions of Piet are less than favorable, after a few chapters I was rooting for him. His character became my favorite and I wanted to see him succeed in his mission. Three Seconds is an edge-of-the-seat crime novel that I found hard to put down. I might be tired from a late night of reading, but it's well worth it.
I won't deny that it did take me a few chapters to get accustomed to the many characters, bad and good, in the story. In fact, I ended up starting over at page 30 and creating a list to ensure I'd have them all down. When I thought I had them pegged, I found myself wavering because nothing is as it first appears.