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review 2018-02-07 08:00
Box 21
Box 21 (Grens & Sundkvist #2) - Anders Roslund,Börge Hellström

I've read some of the books by Roslund and Hellstrom and I've yet to find one that disappoints me. Box 21 however might be the best one yet. I was immediately into the story and found it very hard to put down. Even after finishing it, I took the story with me for quite some time.

I would certainly recommend it to people who like the Scandinavian crime novel.

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review 2017-08-01 08:00
The Beast
The Beast - Anders Roslund,Börge Hellström

This was the first book by the writing duo Roslund and Hellström that I read, but it was certainly not my last. While it's been a while since I read the book, I see I rewarded it five stars.

I remember it as thought-provoking. It's not so much the murder mystery, but the questions that arise afterwards that form this book. While the topic and the crimes are disturbing, I really enjoyed the book
. I find it's a theme that often comes back in their books, and it is one of the reasons why I like to read them.

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review 2015-04-04 00:00
Three Seconds
Three Seconds - Anders Roslund,Börge Hellström,Kari Dickson Three Seconds is a Swedish crime thriller where an ex-con, Piet Hoffman, has been working deep undercover for the Swedish police infiltrating the Polish Mafia operating in Sweden. He is involved in the drug dealing business and gets his break when he is being told to take over the drug distribution in the Swedish jail system. His handler proposes that they go along with this plan, but things get complicated when a Danish infiltrator is killed during a drug delivery, and the murder is being swept under the rug to go through with the plan. High ranking members of the Swedish police go along with this deal only to turn on him quickly.

This novel was disappointing in many ways. First, the concept of distributing drugs inside of a prison seems hardly worth the effort. The logistics of smuggling in the drugs and selling to people who don't have currency on hand just doesn't make a whole lot of sense and not worth the risk. Second, the book is very slow in spots. There's too much wasted space, and it seems as if the authors are trying to prolong the story to hit a certain word count. Third, the way the police turn on Hoffman so quickly is just silly. On the threat that he might speak to the investigator about the murder, they sentence him to death at the snap of the finger. It wasn't believable and it felt rushed. Overall, I would advise skipping this one.

Carl Alves - author of Blood Street
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review 2015-03-15 16:40
"Three Second", by Anders Roslund & Börge Hellström
Three Seconds (Grens & Sundkvist #5) - Anders Roslund,Börge Hellström
Book 5, in the Grens & Sundkvist series

This book is by far from being short in fact it is close to 500 pages of intense reading. The plot is multi-faceted and it takes its merry time to spring into action but once started it crakes up tension and our engagement with the novel. Some entering midstream into this series may feel at a lost since the bleakly eccentric protagonist has a very heart wrenching past which is essential to know.

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. The story unfolds primarily in the streets and apartments of Stockholm and in Aspsas prison, a fictional jail not too far from the city. We also have side trips to both Denmark and Poland.

The narrative shifts points of view from Ewert Grens, a Stockholm detective who runs covert operatives to mules who smuggle drugs from Poland to Piet Hoffman, the most valuable undercover operative working as a front man for security firm with Mafia ties and to Erik Wilson, his handler.

When a drug buy goes wrong and a Danish police is exposed and killed while on a sting Hoffman needs to extricates himself from the complicity in the murder and negotiate a deal with bureaucrats. But Grens determined effort to solve the case threatens to expose not only Hoffman but also officials from various agencies involved with the operation. Intriguing enough n’est-ce pas?….well, also a bit complicated…

With the many things going on it takes a demanding but well worth effort to absorb the refined narrative which is quite heavy-handed with information and to get used to the complex style. This book is gritty, violent and unnerving and once the action takes place it becomes exciting and eventually turns into a real page-turner.


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review 2014-08-15 14:59
"The Beast", by Anders Roslund & Borge Hellstrom
The Beast - Anders Roslund,Börge Hellström

Book 1, in the Ewert Grens series

Being engaged in a book about pedophilia, torture, human savagery and prisons can be quite a challenge. These co-authors know only one way to get from point A to point B: straight and to the point. This thriller is absolute darkness, a masterful reflection on the concept of justice. It is not the run of the mill mystery and not for everyone. 

This story is raw especially at first. But as difficult as it may be, this rawness is for us to reflect on the second part of the book. The true basis behind this novel noir is how we react to what we read and this is where we find the talents of these co-authors come to play and excel in doing. The prose is razor sharp and different views are dealt with and zoom alternately between the investigators, prison inmates and personal, crimes committed by Bernt Lund and the parents of the victims. It chronicles the activities in detail graphic and brutal language. Everything that happens stems from the murder of two little girls in a basement of a Swedish town, the arrest of the pervert who did it and his subsequent escape from prison. My synopsis may be too simple but the story is far from it.

The second part is absolutely brilliant which invites us to reflect on the possible sentences for sex offenders, the death penalty, on the paradox of Justice and the power of public opinion. The story also illustrates the potentially serious consequences of letting people take the law in their own hands. There are numerous characters to keep track of and the name can become confusing but everything really gels well if you stay with the flow.

Gruesome but a very interesting and captivating story that kept my full attention from start to finish.

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