Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair, by Joel Dicker

Joel Dicker. The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair. New York: Penguin Books, 2014. 643 pages. ISBN 9780143126683.

Marcus Goldman is an author suffering from writer's block as he tries to come up with an idea for his second novel. Following the wild success of his first novel, he's feeling the pressure of achieving similar success with his second. Marcus contacts his favorite college professor and mentor, Harry Quebert, who offers to let him stay in his New Hampshire home as a form of retreat. While there, Marcus learns that Harry had a long ago affair with a teenage girl, Nola, who later that summer went missing and was never heard from again. When her remains are found later, Harry becomes the number one suspect and Marcus sets out to prove Harry innocent. As Marcus follows the clues and interviews all the townspeople who knew Nola, he unearths one secret after another. Past intrigues, deceits, and crimes come to light, but the mystery remains as to who killed Nola.

The twists and turns in The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair had my head spinning. But the writing is excellent and the pace keeps the reader going. I found this book readable and fun, and the fast-paced plot will keep you turning the pages until the end. Very satisfying.

I received this book at an event sponsored by the Association of American Publishers and Library Journal, and the author gave a short, but amusing, presentation about his experiences as a writer. Joel Dicker is Suiss, writing in French. He wrote five or six novels (unpublished) before writing this book. It's good that he didn't give up!

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