The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair, by Joël Dicker (#BookReview)

The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair, by Joël Dicker is an international, award-winning bestseller and was the European publishing sensation of 2013, when it sold a million copies in France, and knocked Dan Brown’s “Inferno” off the top of Europe’s bestseller lists. It was published in the United States on May 27th 2014, and was one of the biggest original acquisitions in the history of Penguin Books.

It has been translated from the original French into 32 languages, and has been called “the cleverest, creepiest book you’ll read this year”–I wholeheartedly agreed with that statement; there were several nights when I had to stop reading because I was wondering what was lurking in the shadows! The book has been compared to “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, and the television series “Twin Peaks”.

The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair kept me guessing right up to the end; anyone could have been the murderer. There are two stories running through the book: first is the murder mystery and second is the friendship between Marcus Goldman and his mentor, Harry Quebert. Harry is accused of murdering 15 year old Nola Kellergan, who has been dead for 33 years. Marcus is determined to clear Harry’s name, but he opens a literal Pandora’s box of secrets where nothing is as it seems.

The characters were well drawn, and I particularly liked the friendship between Harry and Marcus. My only quibble is that it was a little too long at 657 pages. However, there are plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader entertained: highly recommended.


Book Description:

August 30, 1975. The day of the disappearance. The day a small New Hampshire town lost its innocence.

That summer Harry Quebert fell in love with fifteen-year-old Nola Kellergan. Thirty-three years later, her body is dug up from his yard along with a manuscript copy of his career-defining novel. Quebert is the only suspect.

Marcus Goldman – Quebert’s most gifted protégé – throws off his writer’s block to clear his mentor’s name. Solving the case and penning a new bestseller soon blur together. As his book begins to take on a life of its own, the nation is gripped by the mystery of ‘The Girl Who Touched the Heart of America’. But with Nola, in death as in life, nothing is ever as it seems.

Joël Dicker’s phenomenal European bestseller is a brilliantly intricate murder mystery, a hymn to the boundless reaches of the imagination, and a love story like no other. Nothing you’ve read or even felt before can prepare you for The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair.

Author Bio: (from Wikipedia)

Joël Dicker is a Swiss novelist from Geneva, Switzerland, a French-speaking city.

Dicker was born on June 16, 1985, and attended Geneva schools. At age 19 he left for drama school in Paris, at the Cours Florent. After one year he returned to Switzerland to enroll in law school, where he received his Masters of Law from the University of Geneva in 2010. Joël Dicker became Europe’s publishing sensation of 2013 when his book La Vérité sur l’Affaire Harry Quebert sold nearly a million copies in France. However, his writing career started when he was a child. At age ten he founded La Gazette des Animaux, a monthly magazine about wildlife. He was its editor-in-chief for seven years. In this capacity he won the Cunéo Prize for the Protection of Nature, and was named “Switzerland’s Youngest Editor-in-Chief” by the Tribune de Genève.

In 2010, at age 25, Dicker won the Prix des Ecrivains Genevois (Geneva Writers’ Prize), a prestigious prize for unpublished manuscripts. After his win, the Parisian editor Bernard de Fallois acquired Dicker’s winning submission, Les Derniers Jours de Nos Pères, and published it in early 2012. Only six months later, in September 2012, de Fallois published Dicker’s La Vérité sur l’Affaire Harry Quebert.


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