Customer Reviews for

Three Seconds

Average Rating 3.5
( 724 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

32 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

Highly Recommended.

Three Seconds is a tour de force about an ex-con turned undercover operative who must infiltrate the Polish mafia in order to stop drug distribution inside the prison system. In order to do this he must commit a crime and go back inside Sweden's most brutal prisons. Th...
Three Seconds is a tour de force about an ex-con turned undercover operative who must infiltrate the Polish mafia in order to stop drug distribution inside the prison system. In order to do this he must commit a crime and go back inside Sweden's most brutal prisons. The pace is unrelenting and the tension rachets up until the very explosive end. This is crime fiction at its most compelling.

posted by Gavin10128 on November 14, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

18 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

Not In This Millennium

I eagerly awaited the arrival of this book, since the promotional write-up had implied that it would be enjoyed by those who enjoyed the Stieg Larsson trilogy. Unfortunately, I only made it approximately a quarter of the way through the book, as I had a difficult time g...
I eagerly awaited the arrival of this book, since the promotional write-up had implied that it would be enjoyed by those who enjoyed the Stieg Larsson trilogy. Unfortunately, I only made it approximately a quarter of the way through the book, as I had a difficult time getting into the story, and I found the main characters to be either uninteresting or unappealing. Furthermore, while I understand that Poland is a ferry-ride neighbor from Sweden, the authors' habit of maintaining some of the dialogue in Polish lost its charm quickly. Although I realize that many others have enjoyed this book, it should not try to ride on the coattails of the late, great Stieg Larsson.

posted by chesspain on January 1, 2011

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  • Posted November 14, 2010

    Highly Recommended.

    Three Seconds is a tour de force about an ex-con turned undercover operative who must infiltrate the Polish mafia in order to stop drug distribution inside the prison system. In order to do this he must commit a crime and go back inside Sweden's most brutal prisons. The pace is unrelenting and the tension rachets up until the very explosive end. This is crime fiction at its most compelling.

    32 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 4, 2010

    Great Read - Don't Miss it!!

    The plot of Three Seconds kept my attention the whole way through. In fact, I had several nights of staying up late reading. I was not familiar with these Swedish authors and had never read any of their works. However, I am definitely going to look for more novels which they have published. After having read all three of Stieg Larsson's trilogy I wondered if it would be somewhat similar, but quickly found that, although it was a mystery set in Sweden, it was totally unlike Larsson's stories. The story was intriguing and moved at a good pace. The characters were well defined and although they had Swedish names (of course) they were still identifiable and easy to keep track of. Piet Hoffman is a character who catches your interest from the beginning. I was pulling for him through out, although I had second thoughts at times. I felt the plot moved along very well and at no time did I get bored with the tedium of details. Several times I was caught up in surprise at the turn of events. Although Hoffman spends time in prison and those details are dealt with clearly, it nevertheless does not get bogged down in grim revelations about prison life other than those relative to the tale. The plot kept running on till the very end and kept this reader very involved. I belong to a book club group and have definitely recommended it to my friends. Sometimes I find that I get bored with tedious facts in some novels, but this was never the case with Three Seconds. I loved it and highly recommend it to anyone who likes mysteries.

    24 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Intense and Intelligent Swedish Thriller!

    Ex-con Piet Hoffman is a covert informant for the Swedish police. He's infiltrated the Polish mafia and is working his way to the top bosses when someone is murdered during a drug deal gone bad. Eric Wilson, Piet's handler, now wants him to go deeper into the mafia to uncover their plan to take control of illegal drug distribution within the Swedish prison system.

    Years earlier when they recruited him, Piet had nothing to lose and was willing to take on any assignment despite the danger. Now that he's married with a family, he's more reluctant but agrees to take on his deadliest mission, despite the fact that using criminals for police investigations is not actually approved of in Sweden. Meeting with his handler and a very secret group of government officials, he extracts the promise that if he is successful, he'll be free of his commitment to the police and he and his family will be relocated outside the country, similar to our Witness Protection Program.

    Problems arise when Detective Inspector Ewert Grens, a sad and lonely colleague of Eric Wilson, is assigned to investigate the murder. Grens works doggedly despite the roadblocks thrown in his way to keep him from finding out Hoffman's identity and destroying Hoffman's chance of success. Hoffman's life hangs in the balance between the Polish mafia and the government group that's supposed to be protecting him that now wants him dead.

    If you're a fan of the late Stieg Larsson and THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO series, this book won't disappoint. The interesting duo of journalist Roslund and ex-criminal Hellstrom has created an intense and intelligent Swedish police procedural that gives the reader a glimpse into the Swedish criminal world and prison system.

    If you're only going to read one book in January, THREE SECONDS should be the one! Lynn Kimmerle

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 23, 2010

    Fast paced and hard to put down!

    I read this ARC for the Barnes and Noble First Look. I did not start with high expectations and was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved this book! The book is full of suspence and thrills and I thought the authors did a wonder job of setting the characters up and then just taking off with the story. I stayed up late a couple of nights because I was so excited to read on and finished it before the timeline of the First Look discussion. If you like suspence and action, this book is for you!

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Intense police thriller delivers!

    FACTS: Sweden is a nation of laws and rights. Criminal organizations profit from illegal trade -- drug distribution being one. Swedish prisons are underfunded, understaffed. Drugged inmates are easier -- cheaper -- to control. Police supervisory authority believes conventional intelligence methods are insufficient to combat organized crime. To infiltrate criminal organizations, the police need spies. Swedish police cannot engage in criminal activity. Only real criminals can pose as criminals. How far will criminal organizations go to kill a snitch? How far will police authority go to deny it employs criminals? What must a man -- caught in the middle -- do to survive, to "not die yet"? THREE SECONDS provides the explosive answers in a taut human drama set in the limbo of Swedish law versus Swedish need. A relentless nerve-wracking police thriller right up there with DAY OF THE JACKAL and THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. One of the best books I've read -- ever.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Don't forget to breathe!

    THREE SECONDS is a gripping, complex, compelling look into the life of Piet Hoffman, a Swedish Police informant, planted inside a Swedish prison to undermine a Polish mafia drug ring. After years of hard work, Piet finally gains the trust of a respected businessman who fronts the Polish mob. This is an exciting, well-plotted, and innovative book with lots of interesting details and drama to make this a totally enjoyable read. The author did a fabulous job researching and writing an entertaining story to keep the reader breathing in short breaths, if they remember to breathe at all.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Hard Core Crime Story

    I enjoyed reading this book by Swedish authors Roslund and Hellstrom. The intro took a little while to develop, but the story required this beginning. These best line of the story is the last (which I will not divulge). A lot of method study in being a criminal and an investigator. The characters are realistic. I would recomment this to anyone who enjoys crime fiction.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2011

    A league of its own!

    This excellent crime novel grabbed me right from the start with its condensed language and intense plot. It is constructed with such suspense that I read it in nearly one sitting.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    a great Swedish police procedural

    In Sweden, Piet Hoffman is so good at what he does only one other knows who he really is. An ex-con with a loving wife and two kids, he has spent much of the decade moving up the hierarchy of the Polish Mafia working in Stockholm. The mob chief chooses Piet to lead their plan to take over the supplying of amphetamines to convicts; but first he must enter Wotjek Security to infiltrate a Polish drug-dealing operation in order to eliminate the current sales boss (for the mob) and gather information (for the cops).

    Meanwhile Swedish Police Service Detective Inspector Ewert Grens investigates a drug-related killing in which Hoffman witnessed the execution. All roads lead to Hoffman, who has wiretap information he uses to keep corrupt politicians from eliminating him. Instead the politicos believe in cantankerous obstinate Grens they have the source to destroy Hoffman. However, Grens is frustrated as someone is covering up something; what he does not know in his pursuit of Hoffman is he threatens Piet's cover.

    Three seconds is a great Swedish police procedural that focuses on the Eastern European invasion of Sweden by felons and former agents. The story line is filled with action, but driven by Piet who fears the corrupt cops or politicians will soon sell him out. His anguish over his family augments the tale as he wants to come out of the cold but at the same time leaves readers to wonder why he takes such risks as he goes under for allegedly one final potentially deadly assignment. Mindful of Henning Mankell's Inspector Kurt Wallander thrillers, fans will relish Piet's work for the Police Service.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    Three seconds is a very well written exciting book. I recommend it to anyone who loves adventure. This is crime fiction at its most compelling.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2010

    Unputdownable!

    Three Seconds, the most recent B&N First Look Book Club selection, is an edge-of-your seat crime novel with unforgettable characters and a fast paced plot. It also examines good and evil, corruption, and human nature. I will definitely seek out other books by these authors. I highly recommend it - It's great for book clubs!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Must read for 2011

    If you like books that take to you another place, this is the book for you. If you like to be at the edge of your seat, this book is for you. If you like to have a book grab you and not let you go, this is the book for you! This book will take to you to another country into a world of crime and drama. It is suspenseful and full of rich characters all with compelling stories This is a must read for 2011! Start off the year right and read this book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Three Seconds - Is a must read

    This is a great read it will take you on a roller coaster ride until the very end. Three Seconds is a crime novel, that has a lot of conspiracy and it is also a detective storyall in one. If you want a book that you can get right into the character and it has plenty action. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a very compelling and sometime very complex story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2011

    Thank you Sweden, I love this!

    Piet Hoffman, an ex-con and informant for the Swedish police, attempting to help them infiltrate the drug trade of the Polish mafia.
    The story-line is filled with action. One of the things I found especially interesting in Three Seconds was the depth of description of both the police and criminal worlds.
    An excellent police procedural and brilliantly plotted.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Incomparable

    ...as in don't compare it to the Steig Larson series jut because they both hail from Sweden. The similarities end there. Three Seconds is compelling, fast moving, complex and enjoyable (IMO the Dragon Tattoo etc are none of those things!) Well written with an interesting juxtapose of good guy/bad guy. Definitely a great read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2011

    Hair-raising!

    Roslund and Hellström are definitely the best crime writers of Scandinavia and THREE SECONDS is a world class crime novel. This book is awfully suspenseful and impossible to put down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Filled with Suspense

    Once I started reading Three Seconds, I found it very hard to put down. Another fabulous selection for the B&N First Look Book Club, kept me enthralled and wanting to know how the book would end.

    Three Seconds is the story of an ex-con, turned undercover operative for the police. It is Piet's assignment to infiltrate the Polish mafia and then go to prison and break up the drug trade. His handler gets approval for the operation from the government and the police hierarchy, but all goes awry when Piet is implicated in a murder and no one tells the investigating detective what really happened.

    As the detective works to solve the case, Piet goes into the prison where all goes as planned until . . .

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not for the faint of heart!!

    All I can say is, 'WOW'! This is a fast-paced, dynamic read that won't disappoint. So many reviewers have already summarized the plot, I don't think it would add anything for me to do the same. I will note that, although there are foreign terms and some tricky passages, if you stick with it you'll find yourself clutching the pages! It's the kind of book that, from time to time, I almost couldn't bear to read, the suspense builds to such a pitch. The characters are diverse and interesting, the action is often unpredictable and fascinating, and the 'good guys' are often indistinguishable from the 'bad' ones. This book is definitely not for the reader that wants an easy story - there are many twists to the plot, and it can be difficult to follow when the characters' thoughts are displayed, not to mention the foreign terms. And while most of the characters are well-developed, there are a few mysterious ones that will leave you wanting more. If you read the Larsson books without a struggle, then this one is more than manageable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 31, 2010

    Highly Recommended

    I really enjoyed this book. It was very descriptive and in-depth; easy to follow and hard to put down. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a crime drama or thriller.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2010

    Gripping!

    This book had me from the very first chapter. It is a dark read dealing with the drug trade and the people involved in it. The lines of good and evil are blurred in this well researched novel and you will find yourself loving and hating some of these characters at the same time. The suspense never stops up until the explosive ending. If you like reading this type of genre, you are going to love this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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