But this. I suspect the translation is bad. Things that sound totally fine in spoken English are often very very incorrect in written English, and you should know this. Contrariwise, you cannot write things you would never be able to say (unless, whatever Sweden, maybe you CAN verbalize slash-marks, and say things like ‘he’s so damned unstable/insecure’ out loud. I don’t know your life).
But then, the story is clearly also bad. There is a small town, a fat boy is bullied, a vampire moves in, some people are murdered, other people are drunks and/or bad fathers, it all takes a very long time. And it’s RIFE with the sort of inept, painstaking explication and generalization you usually find in shoddy middle-grade fiction. ‘The epithet “ritual murder” suggested it was going to happen a second time, didn’t it? A ritual is something that is repeated.’ Or, some Lebanese are taken at the border smuggling heroin, and the narrator is all, ‘There were speculations that the ritual murderer was also a foreigner. It seemed plausible enough; weren’t blood rituals common in those Arab countries? Muslims.’ Yes, we get it. Everyone in a small town is a conclusion-jumping bigot.
(Aside: You need to pick a POV, and if you are going to be third-person omniscient you can’t just switch focalizations mid-paragraph because all this brain-hopping gives me whiplash.)
And there’s a developmental process called ‘theory of mind’ where children start to realize that OTHER people’s brains are different from THEIR brains, and that knowing a thing doesn’t mean other people also know that thing (this is, developentally, when you can start hiding shit on people). CERTAIN AUTHORS, please also acquire this, stat. Characters need to operate soley based on the things they know and can’t be making precocious guesses all the time because you know what’s going on. Even tiny, stupid precocious guesses like seeing the words ‘Iron Maiden’ scrawled on a wall devoid of context and thinking, Hmm, must be some group, EVEN THOSE are maddening because they are indicative of a larger problem, namely that your characters do not know that they are living in a vampire novel. Stop having them be like, This child uses the word ‘awesome’ unnaturally, she must be an EXTREMELY OLD CREATURE.
And, ok, we all know I am the yellow-belliedest, egg-layingest chicken and my continued compulsion to read scary novels is a mystery EVEN TO ME, but this was not scary even by my low scare-threshhold, wherein I find the first 5 minutes of every House episode unwatchably terrifying. How are these vampires so boring? I blame the ellipses, of which Lindqvist is apparently fond. From a single page: ‘Are you…hungry?’ ‘If someone comes here during the day when…I’m resting.’ ‘Do you understand now how much…I care about you?’ My attention has…wandered off to find a martini.
So awful! And so long. And I kept reading, waiting for the FRIGHT FRIGHT FRIGHT and by the time I realized there would be no FRIGHT I was too far gone to stop. I have a problem.