If a reader who loves crime novels has already had the opportunity to come across the universe of Inspector Camille Verhoeven, they may be surprised to discover its creator, Pierre Lemaitre, in a different setting. Indeed, it is surprising that the author of the brutal detective series starring detective Camille is the same one who presents us in Three Days and a Life a fascinating account of the darkest side of the human condition. In this bittersweet prose of hidden emotions and reflections, Lemaitre immerses us in the story of an instant, or rather, of the consequences of an instant.
Three days and a life: Pierre Lemaitre masterfully portrays the consequences of a single instant
Three Days and a Life is the story of Antoine Courtin, a teenager. A 12-year-old boy, with the usual concerns of a boy of his age, who, one day, in a fit of anger, is involved in a crime. An unfortunate coincidence that will mark a before and after. And here the dilemma arises: can a 12-year-old boy become a murderer, does an accident irremediably turn you into a murderer?.
The protagonist continually asks himself precisely these questions. Frightened, stunned by what has just happened, trapped in an extreme situation, he has to make a decision. To confess and take responsibility or, on the contrary, to hide and live with the horror and guilt for the rest of his life. A whole life ruined in an instant. In Three Days and a Life, Pierre Lemaitre takes us into the mind of a teenager who will be marked by the consequences of an instant.
History of the book “Three Days and a Life”
The novel is divided into three moments spaced in time (1999, 2011 and 2015). With this division, Lemaitre invites us to accompany the protagonist in the complex process of maturation from the time he is practically a child until he becomes an adult. But this life journey, masterfully described by the author, does not take place alone. He will be accompanied by the rest of the characters in the work, a veritable microcosm of inhabitants on whom the protagonist’s decisions will also have repercussions. The story, set in a small town, portrays the idiosyncrasies of these places very well. For example, the importance of “what people will say” or the cruel gossip that can do so much harm.
Suspense and emotions
Three Days and a Life, by Pierre Lemaitre, is a novel in which the author does not abandon suspense and tension, but perhaps delves more deeply into the emotions of the characters. In their feelings, fears and guilt. A portrait of a teenager whose life is irremediably affected by an instant in his past, the work is a marvellous reflection on the darkest side of the human condition. Throughout its pages we find cynicism, hypocrisy and evil. Unpretentious, Lemaitre’s prose will keep the reader gripped. From the first pages to the last word.
About the author Pierre Lemaitre
Pierre Lemaitre (Paris, 1951), in addition to being a writer and scriptwriter, studied psychology, created a pedagogical training company and has taught literature. In 2006, his novel Irène was awarded the prize for the first novel at the Cognac Festival. With this work, the author introduced Inspector Camille Verhoeven, the protagonist of a detective series that would also include Alex (2011), Rosy & John (2011) and Camille (2012).
Other awards followed. The 2013 Prix Goncourt, the Prix Roman France Télévisions, the Prix des Livres de Nancy-Le Point, the prize for the best French novel of 2013 from Lire magazine and the prize for the best novel of the year according to French booksellers in Livres Hebdo magazine for See You Up There ( Salamandra, 2014). This was followed later by Tres días y una vida ( Salamandra, 2016) and Los colores del incendio ( Salamandra, 2019).
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