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The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair Bets On...

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair

June 2014

I am crazy about THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HARRY QUEBERT AFFAIR. As I was reading, I became addicted to it. I had a whole other stack of books calling my name for projects and pleasure reading, but I could not put this one down. Around our house, it was not just me who felt like this. My son, Greg, got back from a trip to Europe, and though he was wickedly jetlagged one night, he stayed up until the wee hours to finish the last 300 pages, proving that my addiction to reading it was not singular. In fact, it’s been a bestseller in Europe, and the last time I checked, it was translated into 32 languages.

It’s a hefty 600+ pages, and even when I was 400 pages in, I still was wondering how it was going to end. The author, Joël Dicker, is Swiss, but the story is set in the States, where the main character was born in Montclair, NJ (where many publishing folks live today and where I went to high school in a neighboring town), and much of it is set in New Hampshire (where he spent summers as a child). It’s a literary thriller about a successful  writer who wants to clear the name of his professor friend accused of murder.

It is full of twists and turns --- and just when you think you have it solved (and I was convinced I was right…again), another well-constructed plotline unfolds. At no point did I say, “Naw, that is not it.” If I was reading on an eReader and was not checking the page count, I would have thought I was finished more than once. The hefty number of pages still remaining kept me thinking, THAT is not the end.

The small town and its characters contribute to the intrigue as secrets unfold. Oh, the plot. Marcus Goldman is a young author struggling with writer’s block after the publication of a very successful novel. To try to gain some perspective, he heads to New Hampshire to spend time with a former professor, Harry Quebert. While there, some workers toiling in the professor’s yard unearth the bones of a girl from town who has been missing since 1975. She was 15 the last time she was seen. Harry is the main suspect as details about him and the young woman emerge. Goldman is determined to discover the truth, and, with him, readers hit every possible avenue to finding it.

It’s hard to believe this is Joël’s debut. I cannot wait to see what he does next. Oh, earlier this year, I had shared this piece from the Telegraph in the UK about it. It’s still worth giving it a look!

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair
by Joël Dicker