First great novel of 2011?

Coming January 2011

Many, many of you have thrilled to the searing fiction of Stieg Larsson, the Swedish writer who never lived to see his fame and fortune shoot skyward. We’ve tried to offer up other “Scandinavian crime” writers, most notably Henning Mankel and the writing pair of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, major stars in the land of the Vikings.

In the first half of January, you will be bombarded with news of the American “rush” release of Three Seconds, a novel by Roslund & Hellstrom. Anders Roslund was a major TV reporter in Sweden. Borge Hellstrom has a shadier past, but, reformed, he runs a crime prevention agency. For this, their fifth jointly produced novel, the pair was awarded with the “Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year” for 2009 by the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers and by Great Readers.

Final edits for American English translation are complete and a major review is due on Jan. 9 in the Sunday New York Times (presumably the NYTBR, but who knows?). For me, that will make a great birthday present.

Of course, I haven’t yet read the book. I’m a little too small of a fish to be so preferred as to receive an advance reader’s copy and it is being rushed to the stores faster than originally planned. But the reviews are simply amazing.

I’ve just placed a sizable order for Three Seconds and am prepared to offer a deal for anyone who wants to buy it in January. Buy the book and get any other Scandinavian fiction in stock at half-price. And if it’s not in stock, we’ll give you 25% off customer orders. We can usually get anything you want within a day or two and we neither charge you freight nor require you to pay for it in advance, with guaranteed delivery. Three Seconds is $24.95.

And remember, book clubs buying 5 or more copies always get dramatic discounts on new hardcover fiction. Call the store for details.


Booklist: “a brilliant thriller that posits a nearly literal invasion of Sweden by East European criminals allied with former state security agents … Named the Swedish Crime Novel of the Year in 2009, Three Seconds puts Roslund and Hellström in the company of Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson. Crime fiction rarely gets as good as this.”

Publishers Weekly: “(Piet) Hoffmann must go undercover at Aspsås, 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 authors’ website:


Filed under Book Alert

2 responses to “First great novel of 2011?

  1. from Box 21:
    When a severely wounded woman is brought to a hospital in Stockholm, doctors are horrified to learn that her injuries are the result of a brutal whipping. She is Lydia, a victim of people-trafficking, a young girl from Lithuania sold by her boyfriend and now trapped in a Stockholm brothel, forced to repay her ‘debt’.

    In the same hospital, police officer Sven Sundkvist and senior officer Ewert Grens are chasing a lead that may just expose a notorious mafia boss, a dangerous man Grens hates with a vengeance.

    Two stories of passionate reprisal twist together, ending in a dramatic climax: two bullet-riddled bodies and a room full of hostages in the hospital’s basement. But in the cold light of day, will Sven protect the senior officer he so admires, even from his own corruption?

  2. I just received my own personal, finished copy of the book and will be reading it over the holidays. I promise I’ll give you an honest review as soon as I can.

    First impressions? Physically it’s a stylish book on good paper with a deckle-edge. That’s usually a sign that the publisher has taken great care with the title and intends it to be a treasured keepsake. It can also be a bluff, but I have a good feeling about this.

    I will tell you this. Just reading a page, I know it’s better than the new Tom Clancy emission.

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