cover image Three Hours

Three Hours

Roslund and Hellström, trans. from the Swedish by Elizabeth Clark Wessel. Quercus, $26.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-68144-338-6

Roslund and Hellström’s complex seventh crime thriller to be published in the U.S. featuring Det. Supt. Ewert Grens (after 2017’s Three Minutes) effectively highlights the horrors of human trafficking. Grens is summoned to a Stockholm hospital after a mortuary technician realizes that she has an extra corpse in her facility. The extra body, of an African male who died of suffocation, bears no identifying marks or papers, but Grens resolves to make every effort to identify him and determine how he ended up in the morgue. The trail leads him to a storage container filled with more than 60 corpses, all apparently refugees who had been deprived of enough air to survive. One of the bodies has a phone concealed in its clothing, with a fingerprint that matches Piet Hoffmann, a former government informant now working to protect a food convoy in the Sahara. Grens travels to Niger, where he gets the informant to agree to help him locate and thwart the human traffickers by threatening to expose a crime of which Hoffmann has not been suspected. The authors keep the suspense high to the nail-biting end. Fans of action mingled with a moving portrayal of real-life tragedies will be pleased. (Oct.)