Beth T. (Savannah, GA)
Good, not Great
I'm a Mankell fan and was looking forward to sampling another voice in this genre. Although Three Seconds is a good read, and very suspenseful at times, I was a little disappointed. I found myself getting sidetracked by minutiae: names, relationships -- the storyline didn't pull me from chapter to chapter in high anticipation of what was to come next. But I still recommend that Swedish mystery fans give it a try.
Beth F. (Bloomfield Hills, MI)
I loved this book. It was a page turner from the first page to the last.... Great characters with a plot that has an unusual twist. A great read!
Michele W. (Kiawah Island, SC)
I wanted to review "Three Seconds" because I am a huge fan of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, the pioneers and unchallenged masters of the Swedish police procedural, as well as Henning Mankell, who has followed in their footsteps with his charming and clever Wallender mysteries. "Three Seconds" is heir to the traditional formula in that it combines an intricate plot with pointed criticism of the Swedish state. Several crimes that are initially thought to be unrelated are shown to be part of the same larger picture. The lead detective is flawed, eccentric and interpersonally-challenged. The humor is missing, however, and therefore the book reads much more like a thriller a la James Patterson. I was distracted by the repetition of information, and by the occasional Britishisms in the translation (Can you really describe the indisposition of a cold-blooded criminal as a "dicky tummy?") At first, the rapid switches between stories and characters was difficult to follow. On the other hand, the plot was engrossing and the jumpy structure probably enhances the suspense as intended. There is a sort of a trick ending, but the impact is reduced by the fact that the reader has already figured it out, and is just hanging around to find out how it was done. In spite of its flaws, I enjoyed reading "Three Seconds", and I would rate it an above-average thriller that should appeal to those who like this genre.
Dorian B. (Bainbridge, NY)
Hoping for More
Having read the media review for this book, and the hype about the authors, I have to say that I was disappointed. I felt there was no depth to the characters, and by the time the plot gains any speed or real interest the actions of the main characters do not make sense. I was disconnected, just reading to get through. Definitely not at the level of current writers of this genre.