The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair

Joel Dicker, trans. from the French by Sam Taylor. Penguin, $18 trade paper (656p) ISBN 978-0-14-312668-3
Swiss author Dicker makes his U.S. debut with an ambitious, multilayered novel of suspense that’s already an international bestseller. In 2008, Marcus Goldman, a Manhattan-based novelist suffering from writer’s block, is under pressure to produce the follow-up to his sensational debut. He turns for help to his mentor, Harry Quebert, whose second novel, The Origin of Evil, was a huge critical and commercial success decades earlier. Marcus travels to Harry’s home in Somerset, N.H., where he comes across letters and photos revealing that Harry had an affair the summer of 1975 with a 15-year-old girl, Nola Kellergan. Harry admits that Nola, who disappeared that same summer, inspired The Origin of Evil. A few months after Marcus’s visit, the chance unearthing of Nola’s remains on Harry’s property leads to his arrest for murder. Marcus sets out to clear Harry’s name—and promises his publisher to write a book about the experience. While at times unwieldy and repetitive, this tale of fame, friendship, loyalty, and fiction versus reality moves at warp speed. Eight-city author tour. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/07/2014
Release date: 05/27/2014
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