Have you been on the hunt for a clever 'literary' epic thriller to plug the gap since the The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy? Well if you can bear to break from a sexy Scandi setting then The Truth about The Harry Querbert Affair could be your answer.
It's a fun, self-concious whodunnit. Add it to your summer reading list now.
Originally published in French way back in 2012, The Truth About The Harry Quebet Affair has been praised as literary brilliance and equally dismissed as Eurotrash by the English-speaking critics. That may be because the very Swiss Dicker has turned the small-town American crime novel on it's head with many twists and large dose of irony. Just sayin' ! However, the book has been translated into 32 languages and well over two million copies have been sold (and counting) so I'd say newbie author Joel Dicker is having the last laugh!
I loved it … ignored my family for days at the beach while I ploughed through over 600 pages.
This book is studded with crime character cliches: star debut author struggling with writer's block, a kindly university professor and mentor full of advice about writing and process, unresolved disappearance of a beautiful and enigmatic teenage girl, cynical small town cop who has seen it all but has a heart of gold, matronly diner owner, jealous husband, jealous girlfriend, wealthy bachelor and town benefactor, overbearing, quirky Jewish parents who just want Marcus to marry a nice Jewish girl, picturesque seaside East Coat town.
Checkitty, check, check, check.
He messes with our heads start to finish.
The writerly comments on writing, the successful debut novelist lead (a great I-wish projection from the author?) and the witty repartee and one-liners from the likeable lead Marcus Goldman. Yep … Dicker sure is toying with us right through 600+ hundred pages of rapid-fire red herrings and will indeed keep you guessing right to the end.
Here is the official blurb from Quercus Books, UK:
August 30, 1975. The day of the disappearance. The day Somerset, New Hampshire, lost its innocence.
That summer, struggling author 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 the novel that made him a household name. 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 merge into one. 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.
The Guardian, UK