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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Three Seconds - a review

As Scandinavia becomes the home of the next bestseller, these Swedish authors make their mark in the growing market. One, a former, award-winning journalist the other, an ex-con put their heads together to write a grim look into the life of the rat—a criminal under the pay of the police to become turncoat against others in the underbelly of society.

Piet Hoffman is one such informant. Recruited the day he left jail after a petty crime and now finds himself in deep-cover with the Polish mafia. When he agrees to go back in jail to take over the heroin sales and to eliminate the opposition, life takes a turn for the worse. Initially having to lie to his family was bad, but when his cover is blown within the first week by the very cops who stood by and promised to protect him, Hoffman finds himself on the run within the confines of the walls he is incarcerated behind.

He takes hostages and sets himself up for an unusual escape in order to confront his betrayers. Homicide detective Ewert Grens—a bull-dog of a cop who hangs onto to the crimes he investigates and worries them to death—is investigating a murder Hoffman witnessed prior to going undercover. Grens digs up clues that lead him to Hoffman and to the truth behind the betrayals, but will he turn against the police force to help rescue the life of an undercover con?

Hoffman, to his credit, is a very careful man. He has planned for every eventuality so when all starts to go wrong his plan is in place and his three-second window of opportunity—from the book’s title—is amply played out. Of course, he did not share those plans with you, my dear reader and so you are left to assume and wonder until the very last play is made.

This ranks up there with the ultimate police procedurals and thrillers and is an absolute page-turner.

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