Rated of 5
by Mary R. (Eagan, Minnesota)
Three Seconds, More Like Three Centuries
I was excited to get this book because the authors had been touted as the next Steig Larsson. I had read Larsson’s three books and then read them again because they are so excellent. I did a little research on Three Seconds and discovered that it is fifth in a series. Only four, including Three Seconds, are available in English.
From the first page, I had trouble with Three Seconds. This book does not appear to be completely stand-alone. I spent far too much time wondering why Ewert Grens was so tormented and what was up with the music, the death of the woman in the nursing home, and boxing up everything that reminded him of her and hiding it in the evidence locker at the police station.
The plot was compelling and the characters were flawed and intriguing, so it took me a while to determine that the major problem is the translation. I thought that if I made it to the point where Piet went into prison the story would pick up for me, but I finally gave up just before he went inside. The words on the page are all correct, but they are in the wrong place and there are far too many of them to make flowing sense. It is as if the translator literally translated from Swedish to English without taking into account word order. Words are also translated into English without regard to English colloquialisms, making some of the phrases understandable, but incorrect. For example, the one phrase that comes to mind is “it was a 9mm caliber Radon” – in English we would not put millimeter and caliber together; caliber is redundant. Perhaps it would have been better if Reg Keeland had translated the book, as he did the three Larsson books.
I gave this book to my husband thinking that he might like it better than I did. He made it five pages farther than I did and gave up, too. Sadly, I think that this book is one instance where the movie will be better than the book. I understand that Universal Studios has picked up the movie rights…