Roslund & Hellström

Three Seconds

Release date: May 20, 2009 / Original title: Tre Sekunder
Roslund & Hellström - Three Seconds

Three Seconds

He leads a double life. One with a beloved wife and two small boys, a family he will protect no matter what the cost. And another, secret life in which he every single day risks losing everything

He is forced to seize control of one of Sweden’s maximum security prisons, from the inside. It’s an operation assigned by the police force. And by the Polish mafia. He realizes he is on his own, can trust no one, and that from the moment his double play is revealed he will become a huge liability for police and mafia alike. He calls himself Paula and he knows he could be dead in just three seconds.

Three Seconds is an intensely suspenseful thriller where people in all positions of society are put to the test. This is Roslund & Hellströms fifth novel starring Police Superintendent Ewert Grens. Roslund & Hellström’s previous novels have won several awards and great critical acclaim , and reached a large audience. Their books have been translated into seventeen languages and are currently being adapted for the screen.

“A thrill-a-minute cat-and-mouse game”
New York Times (US)
“[Three Seconds is] a nail biter of a book.”
New York Times, Janet Maslin (US)
“[A] sprawling and often gripping thriller ... The gritty details of drug dealing, of prison life and of the relations between cops and informants are all rendered with convincing authority in Three Seconds. And in Ewert Grens ...the authors have created an eccentric, alienated, socially inept hero worthy of comparison with Swedish mystery master Henning Mankell’s Inspector Kurt Wallander.”
Wall Street Journal (US)
“Ex-con Piet Hoffmann, who for the past nine years has led a double life as a family man and a police snitch infiltrating the Stockholm drug world, takes on his most dangerous assignment yet in Roslund & Hellstrom’s thrilling follow-up to Box 21 … The authors ratchet the suspense beautifully right up to the final, inevitable confrontation.”
Publishers Weekly (US)
“Three Seconds’ Full of Twists and Turns. There is corruption at every turn in Three Seconds, from the police officers who are supposed to be taking care of the informants to the politicians who pull the strings. Roslund and Hellstrom are dissecting the process, and they do so very well in this highly entertaining novel that is full of twists and turns … the action quickly draws you in and continues to grip you to the final chapters of the novel. The authors have something to say, and Three Seconds proves to be an excellent way of doing it.”
The Associated Press (US)
“The writing team of Roslund and Hellström is one that is made in heaven ... Three Seconds is challenging, exciting and haunting. Even if you see the (multiple) ending(s) coming, you will be amazed by how Roslund and Hellström pull things off. It is more than worth the night of sleep you’ll sacrifice at its altar. Strongly recommended.”
The Book Reporter (US)
“A terrific, nail-biting climax that demonstrates why it won the prize for Sweden’s best crime novel in 2009. Give this to Stieg Larsson fans and any reader fond of morally complex thrillers.”
Library Journal (US)
“The thin line that separates such truth and lies is a theme reverberating throughout Three Seconds and drives an explosive plot twist and coverup… [The] novel’s savage dissection of societal and government corruption make Three Seconds a nerve-jangling ride and perhaps a kissing cousin of Larsson’s novels.”
Los Angeles Times (US)
“The five novels featuring Inspector Ewert Grens are faster paced and stronger on plot than most Swedish crime fiction.”
Los Angeles Times, John-Henri Holmberg (US)
“[Roslund and Hellstrom] have concocted a brilliant thriller … extremely difficult to put down. /.../ Three Seconds puts Roslund and Hellstrom in the company of Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson. Crime fiction rarely gets as good as this.” *Starred Review*
Booklist (US)
“Duo's Three Seconds does Stieg Larsson one better."** **"Americans are finally catching on to what thriller fans around the world already know — that the Swedish team of Roslund & Hellstrom is writing explosive crime novels as good, if not better, than those of Stieg Larsson ... Roslund & Hellstrom pull out all the stops, peppering the story with unfathomable mysteries ... Gun play, explosions, betrayals and the ingenious ways drugs and weapons are smuggled into prisons give this novel, Roslund & Hellström's fifth, an eau de testosterone level that's through the roof.”
USA Today (US)
“Three Seconds, the title, is the time in the book that a shot being fired hits its target. Three Seconds hits its target. It is a tour de force.”
New York Journal of Books (US)
“Looking for a cozy mystery to warm the winter months? Let's see. A handful of hoity-toity English types — tasteful but troubled — gathers at a country manor and —mon Dieu — one of them turns up dead in a locked room. Sound about right? If that's your cup of tea, avoid Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom's Three Seconds like the plague. It offers no suspicious servants, nobody wears an ascot, and it doesn't end with the entire cast (minus corpse) gathered around a dinner table for a shocking reveal. The rest of us are in luck. The crime novel-writing team of Roslund and Hellstrom tackles weighty subjects, and their credentials suggest we should take them seriously ... Trust me. No butlers were hurt in the making of Three Seconds. But everybody else is fair game. And that's exactly what crime-novel fans demand.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch (US)
“It's like Traffic on the Swedish-Polish border, but everything from the weather to the criminals' hearts is a little colder.”
People (US)
“Twisty plot makes for propulsive reading.”
Entertainment Weekly (US)
“Three Seconds will peal the paint off anything you've read lately in the annals of crime ... Prepare yourself for an electrifying standoff between a brilliant criminal who maps his future beyond death and a bulldog inspector with nothing to lose. The second half ofThree Seconds is psychological suspense on a grand scale. No wonder Roslund and Hellstrom are the darlings of European crime fiction. Grab your copy of Three Seconds and welcome the next big thing to America.”
Madison County Herald (US)
“These guys are their own kind of writers and if you love crime fiction you owe it to yourself to check out this book. Mobsters, drug dealers, corruption and loads of action. This is pure straight up Crime Fiction, no chaser, no apologies.”
Crimespree Magazine (US)
“Harsh and brutal ... Non-stop and the tension unlimited ... Well-written and powerful.”
The Times (UK)
“Three Seconds invites comparison with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. There is the same obsessive detail, the same corruption of the authorities, and even Larsson's tactic of the slow introductory chapters that suddenly shift into a higher gear ... R & H have even managed to freight in some cogent aperçus about the nature of identity amid the clammy suspense. Three Seconds is no dumbed-down blockbuster.”
The Independent (UK)
“High hopes for Three Seconds - justifiably so.... Superb.”
The Guardian(UK)
“This is crime writing at its most ambitious and morally complex. A visceral, demanding read filled with the kind of insider knowledge that raises it from the pack.”
Financial Times (UK)
“A compulsive page-turner”
Mail on Sunday (UK)
“This thriller is brilliantly told … For a long time I have not read such a dark, depressing, melancholy – and brilliant book. Refined and narrated without clichés.
WDR 2, Westdeutscher Rundfunk (Germany)
“Roslund & Hellström write so convincingly that I for a moment think it all must be true. // They hold their readers in a tight grip and don’t evenlet go when the book comes to an end.”
Blekinge Läns Tidning (Sweden)
“Three Seconds is this summer’s definite must-read when it comes to Swedish crime novels.”
Journalisten (Sweden)
“The strongest action thriller by Roslund & Hellström so far, impossible to put down before the unexpected end.”
Dagens Nyheter (Sweden)
“Roslund & Hellström appear to have parked, once and for all, on the pinnacle of the Swedish crime writing elite. Their ability to weave in social commitment and with the help of fiction take a stand in important issues is fascinating. In this regard I can only think of one author they don’t outshine quite yet ­ John le Carré. // The plot is hair-raising and awfully suspenseful. Roslund & Hellström have outdone themselves once again!”
Mariestads Tidingen (Sweden)
“Hard to put down? Absolutely. The book is incessantly driven forward by the condensed language and intense plot.”
Läns-Posten (Sweden)
“Roslund & Hellström present 600 pages packed with drama. It¹s fast-paced and intensely suspenseful.”
Norra Västerbotten (Sweden)
“Three Seconds is incredibly skillfully constructed.”
DAST Magazine (Sweden)
“Roslund & Hellström’s strength is in the ability to handle the darkest mechanisms in us all with credibility, and to shape them and their hosts with empathy. To do so with elegance and clarity as well, is a unique achievement.”
Göteborgs Posten (Sweden)
“Roslund & Hellström handle the subject with outstanding knowledge and substantial gravity. In addition, it is dreadfully suspenseful. // I might as well say it again: if a better Swedish thriller were to be published this year, it would make 2009 a brilliant year for the domestic crime novel. And I would be pretty surprised.”
Sydsvenska Dagbladet (Sweden)
“I read it in one sitting and 592 pages went by in no time! Anders Roslund and Börge Hellströms latest crime novel Three Seconds is an intensely moving, explosive, and strong story. // Three Seconds takes me straight into a world that I hardly knew existed, but that I have no problems believing in. // Anders Roslund & Börge Hellström are a fantastic author duo that in one crime novel after another very authentically portray Swedish reality, from a vital view point of crime, punishment, and revenge. // Moreover, Three Seconds is awfully well told when it comes to style, it practically spits out sentences written in a staccato pace which provides huge energy. // The crime wave has come a long way and I have read a whole lot. But nothing has so far made such an impression as Three Seconds. The subject is just as explosive and blazing as the jacket cover and I totally recommend it to everybody!”
Skånska Dagbladet (Sweden)
“Three Seconds is just as its predecessors very well-written, in a prose that is a joy for the soul. None of the increasingly inept language of crime writing can be found here. Every page wants to turn itself and it takes a great deal of willpower to put it down. // Three Seconds is a fascinating journey into a world that is very far removed from our ideas of it.”
Folkbladet (Sweden)
”Roslund & Hellström just keep getting better.”
Må Bra (4 of 5) (Sweden)
“Roslund & Hellström have now published five books and they are among the best one can read. The series with the obstinate superintendent Ewert Grens is simply unbeatable in comparison with other contemporary crime novels. And we all know that the competition in Sweden is serious business. // Three Seconds has it all. It is characterization of the highest degree. // I am deeply impressed by them.”
Gefle Dagblad (Sweden)
”This summers best crime novel. // In the steady flow of Swedish thrillers, Roslund & Hellström are the only ones who clearly uphold the heritage of Sjöwall & Wahlöö. // When [Three Seconds] is all over, the reader has experienced an incredibly dramatic and moving journey that doesn’t loosen it’s grip for a single second. The plot is extraordinarily strong. The angle on it is created to really engage the reader in the issue from every viewpoint. And at the same time the dramaturgical structure is brilliant. This is, according to myself, their best since their début. And I consider the three novels in between really good.”
Länstidningen i Östersund (Sweden)
“Roslund & Hellström you owe me a nights sleep. But those nocturne hours could not have been spent in a better way. You are without a doubt superior in the Swedish crime genre and you keep your readers in a tight grip that one neither can nor wants to get out of.”
Tove (5 of 5) (Sweden)
”This is a real page-turner, which cost me a couple nights of troubled sleep. It is also the dazzling duo Roslund & Hellströms best so far. // Roslund & Hellström have indeed won The Glass Key once before (for their début The Beast), but Stieg Larsson was awarded it twice posthumously. So it would certainly be appropriate to award the dazzling duo, that keep the banner flying for Swedish, socially conscious thrillers, once again.”
Värmlands Folkblad
“A strong and well-written crime novel with both significance and terrifying suspense. It is a pleasure to plow through the 592 pages.”
Dagens Industri (5 of 5) (Sweden)
”Three Seconds is in parts so hair-raising that I have to put it down, pace around the apartment to catch my breath, and try to calm down. /…/ It is terribly good reading.”
Västerbottens Folkblad (Sweden)
”Roslund och Hellström prove that Swedish crime fiction is part of the definitive world elite right now. In addition, Three Seconds is undoubtedly their best book so far. 592 pages generate respect, but there are no tedious passages and it never comes to a standstill infinitely suspenseful!”
Kristianstadsbladet (Sweden)
”Roslund & Hellströms latest book is terrifyingly good. // The main character has calculated that it takes three seconds to die. In the same amount of time the book accelerates from 0-100 km/h and in a dizzying pace this crime roller coaster has reached full speed.”
Eskilstuna Kuriren (Sweden)
”Roslund & Hellströms new thriller Three Seconds grabs you right from the start. // It’s brutal and uncomfortable, but worst of all is probably the feeling that this reality really exists, the authors have done formidable research for this book. // But above all Three Seconds is a well-written, suspenseful and terribly good story.”
Göteborgs-Tidningen (Sweden)
”Roslund & Hellström are in a league of their own. They write about a cold, violent world that most of us know nothing about. And they do it with such devilish skill and engagement that I read their nearly 600-page book in one sitting.”
Aftonbladet (Sweden)
“Three Seconds is impossible to put down before one has finished it. This novel is not only Roslund & Hellströms best one so far, it is also constructed with such suspense that it outshines most of the international competition.”
Expressen (Sweden)
“… very impressive …” ”… the moment where you understand the purpose of the title is extremely exciting …”
The Nihon Keizai Shinbun (one of the biggest Japanese morning papers)
“… a masterpiece everyone must read. Even the most discerning reader will be really impressed…”
Web Hon no zasshi
“… the authors have succeeded with a brilliantly written, but readable novel that keeps the reader in the excitement to last row… ” “… brilliantly written thriller, soon the readers get into a rhythm and start to devour the story… ”
Kultura 21
“…duo Roslund & Hellström has succeeded again – not just to get the readers’ recognition but also because of its literary quality to get awarded with the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award 2009 for Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year…” “…Three Seconds is a thriller of high tension…” “… besides the pleasure of rhythmic and exciting reading shows Three Seconds on the difficulty deciding whether there is a static boundary between good and evil, between victims and perpetrators… ”
“… an extraordinarily exciting novel, with a flawless construction. Roslund and Hellström, ‘the new champions of Swedish crime fiction’, has a complex way to tell about organized criminal activity in their country and how to make money on drugs, gunrunning and human trafficking – a scary reality that most people ignore… ”
Jurnalul National

Tre Sekunder | Sweden | Piratförlaget
3 секунди | Bulgaria | Era
Tres Segons | Catalán | RBA
China (under translation) | Straits Media (Simplified Chinese)
Tri Sekunde | Croatia | Znanje
Tři Vteřiny | Czech Republic | Euromedia
Tre Sekunder | Denmark | Rosinante
Estonia (under translation) | Eesti Ramaat
Kolme Sekuntia | Finland | WSOY
Trois Secondes | France | Fayard
3 Sekunden | Germany | Blanvalet
3 Sekunden | Germany | Fischer
Három Másodperc | Hungary | Animus
Þrjár sekúndur | Iceland | Bjartur & Veröld
Indonesia (under translation) | Mizan
Three Seconds | Israel | Sela Books
Tre Secondi | Italy | Einaudi
Tre Secondi | Italy | RCS MediaGroup
Three Seconds | Japan | Kadokawa
Three Seconds | Korea| Singongsa
Trys Sekundés | Lithuania | Metodika
Drei Seconden | Netherlands | De Geus
Tre Sekunder | Norway | Cappelen Damm
Trzy Sekundy | Poland | Albatros (three editions)
Três Segundos | Portugal | Planeta
Trei Sekunde | Romania | Trei
Tri Sekondy | Russia | Inostranka
Tri Sekunde | Slovenia | Mladinska knjiga
Tri Sekundy | Slovakia | Ikar
Tres Segundos | Spain | RBA
Three Seconds | Taiwan | Azoth (Complex Chinese)
Turkey (under translation) | Ithaki
Three Seconds | UK & Commonwealth | Quercus
Three Seconds | US | Quercus

3 секунди, Bulgaria 3 секунди, Bulgaria
Tri Sekunde, Croatia Tri Sekunde, Croatia
Tres Segons, Catalán Tres Segons, Catalán
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Trzy Sekundy, Poland (2) Trzy Sekundy, Poland (2)
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Tre Secondi, Italy (2) Tre Secondi, Italy (2)
Tři Vteřiny, Czech Republic (2) Tři Vteřiny, Czech Republic (2)
Trzy Sekundy, Poland (movie edition) Trzy Sekundy, Poland (movie edition)