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Three Seconds

by Anders Roslund, Borge Helstrom

Book list *Starred Review* Piet Hoffman is a devoted husband and the father of two young sons. He's also an ex-con who has been working undercover for the Stockholm police for nine years. Code named Paula, Piet has risen through the ranks of the Polish mafia and is chosen to lead the Poles' effort to control the supply of amphetamines in Sweden's prisons. To do that, Paula must get himself arrested and sent to a maximum security prison, wipe out the existing supplier, and keep himself alive until he has all the information needed for the police to move on the gang. Roslund, a former journalist, and Hellstrom, a former criminal, have concocted a brilliant thriller that posits a nearly literal invasion of Sweden by East European criminals allied with former state security agents. Combine that with a morally compromised police and Ministry of Justice effort to combat the invasion, and you have a genuine crisis. Piet's growing fear of discovery or betrayal and his angst at his beloved wife's ignorance of his work ratchet up the story's tension page by page and make the novel extremely difficult to put down. Named the Swedish Crime Novel of the Year in 2009, Three Seconds puts Roslund and Hellstrom in the company of Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson. Crime fiction rarely gets as good as this.--Gaughan, Thomas Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly 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 and Hellstrom's thrilling follow-up to Box 21. Hoffmann must go undercover at AspsAs, a maximum security prison, and take control of the methamphetamine sales so the police can dismantle the spread of drugs from the inside out. The murder of a man during one of Hoffmann's preliminary meetings with the members of Wojtek, the local Polish mafia, threatens the entire plan and puts Det. Supt. Ewert Grens, the returning hero from Box, on the case. Once Hoffmann steps inside the prison walls all hell breaks loose, and he's forced to fend for himself when it appears that everyone on either side of the law wants him dead. The authors ratchet the suspense beautifully right up to the final, inevitable confrontation. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved