Three Seconds

Last updated
Three Seconds
Author Roslund/Hellström
Genre Crime
PublisherPiratförlaget (original)
Publication date

Three Seconds (original title: Tre sekunder) is a dark thriller by the Swedish crime-writing team of Anders Roslund and Borge Hellström. First published in Sweden in 2009, it was translated into English in 2010. The novel deals with criminals in contemporary Sweden, the Police and Probation Officials who monitor these offenders, and the government who wants to use them as undercover operatives. Throughout, the story cross-cuts between characters, giving alternating points of view of Piet Hoffmann, a former criminal turned double agent; his handler, Erik Wilson; Ewert Grens, a determined detective whose efforts to solve a case threaten to expose Hoffmann; and officials from various agencies involved in Hoffmann's operation.

Roslund & Hellström is a Swedish crime writing duo composed of journalist Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström (1957–2017), a famous debater on the Swedish correctional system. Since 2004 full time writers. Until then, Roslund for fifteen years worked as a news reporter, head of Culture News and head of news for Rapport News, Aktuellt and Kulturnyheterna. Hellström is an ex-con and one of the founders of Kriminellas Revansch i Samhället (KRIS), an organisation fighting to prevent crime.



Ewert Grens

Grens is a Detective Superintendent of the Stockholm Police, somewhere between 55 and 60 years old. Haunted by the death of his wife, for which he feels responsible, the grief-stricken Grens no longer takes care of himself or socializes with others. He survives on vending machine coffee and cakes; sleeps on the couch in his office; and knows his body and spirit are falling apart. When it comes to solving a crime, however, he digs in and won't let go, using his keen intelligence and well-honed instincts to arrive at the truth. He has never left a case unclosed, and is incorruptible. Grens is also the hero of four earlier novels by Roslund and Hellstöm— The Beast (2004), Box 21(2005), Redemption (2006), and The Girl Below the Street (2007 - and two later; "Two Soldiers" (2012) and "Three Minutes" (2016).

Piet Hoffmann

After being arrested for using drugs, Piet Hoffman was recruited by the police as an informant. He's one of their very best agents, enjoying an almost addictive rush of adrenaline as he faces danger nearly every minute. But now he has something in his life he never expected: a beloved wife and two small boys who he wants to protect, no matter what the cost. Success with this assignment means a new identity and a fresh start with his family.

Supporting characters


Three Seconds unfolds primarily in the streets and apartments of Stockholm and in Aspsås Prison, a fictional jail located not too far outside the city. In addition, there are side trips to both Denmark and Poland.

Stockholm Capital city in Södermanland and Uppland, Sweden

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the most populous urban area in the Nordic countries; 965,232 people live in the municipality, approximately 1.6 million in the urban area, and 2.4 million in the metropolitan area. The city stretches across fourteen islands where Lake Mälaren flows into the Baltic Sea. Outside the city to the east, and along the coast, is the island chain of the Stockholm archipelago. The area has been settled since the Stone Age, in the 6th millennium BC, and was founded as a city in 1252 by Swedish statesman Birger Jarl. It is also the county seat of Stockholm County.


The movie adaption was announced at the Film Festival in Cannes 2017. It was made official that Rosamund Pike, Joel Kinnaman, Clive Owen and Common are all set to star in The Informer. [1]

Rosamund Pike English actress

Rosamund Mary Ellen Pike is an English actress who began her acting career by appearing in stage productions such as Romeo and Juliet and Skylight. After her screen debut in the television film A Rather English Marriage (1998) and television roles in Wives and Daughters (1999) and Love in a Cold Climate (2001), she received international recognition for her film debut as Bond girl Miranda Frost in Die Another Day (2002), for which she received the Empire Award for Best Newcomer. Following her breakthrough, she won the BIFA Award for Best Supporting Actress for The Libertine (2004) and portrayed Jane Bennet in Pride & Prejudice (2005).

Joel Kinnaman Swedish-American actor

Charles Joel Nordström Kinnaman is a Swedish and American actor who first gained recognition for his roles in the Swedish film Easy Money and the Johan Falk crime series. Kinnaman is known internationally for his television roles as Detective Stephen Holder in AMC's The Killing, Takeshi Kovacs in the first season of Altered Carbon, and Governor Will Conway in the U.S. version of House of Cards. He has also played Alex Murphy in the 2014 RoboCop remake, and Rick Flag in the film adaptation of Suicide Squad (2016), based on the DC Comics anti-hero team of the same title.

Clive Owen English film, television and stage actor

Clive Owen is an English actor. He first gained recognition in the United Kingdom for playing the lead role in the ITV series Chancer from 1990 to 1991. He received critical acclaim for his work in the film Close My Eyes (1991) before earning international attention for his performance as a struggling writer in Croupier (1998). In 2005, he won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the drama Closer (2004).


The Best Swedish Crime Novel Award is a literary prize awarded annually since 1982 by the Swedish Crime Writers' Academy.

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  1. Mitchell, Robert (17 May 2017). "Cannes: Rosamund Pike, Clive Owen, Joel Kinnaman to Star in Action Thriller 'Three Seconds'". Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  2. Atik, Chiara (14 October 2016). "'Dragon Tattoo' fan? Try these 10 Scandinavian thrillers". . Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  3. 1 2 Brunsdale, Mitzi M. (2016). Encyclopedia of Nordic Crime Fiction. McFarland & Company. p. 501. ISBN   978-1-4766-2277-4.