The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair
This book gripped me from beginning to end, and had so many twists that I was perplexed over the mystery of young Nola's death until it was cleverly revealed at the end of the book. This is not just a typical thriller, though. It is an ode to writing, to the love of language and authoring a book. It is also a love story, albeit a controversial one - that despite its perceived 'wrongness' remains the beating heart of the novel.
Marcus Goldman is a young author who received great success with his debut book but who now has a severe case of writer's block; His agent is pressuring him and the publisher threatening to sue him as his deadline approaches. To escape these tensions and inspire himself, he leaves to stay in the sleepy seaside town of Somerset with his dear friend and old English professor, Harry Quebert, a renowned author himself.
One day when Harry is out, Marcus stumbles upon photos of Harry in his 30s with a 15 year old girl, clearly in love. He confronts Harry who admits to being in love with this girl Nola, who disappeared from his life that same summer years ago. A few months later, chaos is unleashed when the dead body of Nola Kellergan is found buried in Harry's yard, along with a copy of his original manuscript. Harry is the only suspect. Marcus is determined to clear Harry's name and investigate the truth...and his new book begins to evolve as each clue discovered leads him deeper and deeper into a complex puzzle that spirals into tangents and further suspects.
The book flashes from present to past and is told from various perspectives which gives a thorough insight into the town and the people that inhabit it. Each chapter begins with a paragraph of writing advice from Harry to Marcus. Beautifully written, the style of this novel was reminiscent of The Secret History but is also very much it's own. A new favourite! Jemma
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 protege - 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.
Winner of Prix Goncourt des Lyceens 2012 and Grand Prix du Roman de l'Academie Francaise 2012.
'A spellbinding literary thriller ... It is maddeningly, deliciously impossible to guess the truth' Melissa Katsoulis, The Times. 'The cleverest, creepiest book you'll read this year ... Twin Peaks meets Atonement meets In Cold Blood' Gaby Wood, Daily Telegraph. 'A tour de force, this seems set to be a huge success' Patricia Nicol, Metro.
Joel Dicker was born in Geneva in 1985. He studied Drama in Paris before returning to his home city to study Law. His first novel, Les Derniers Jours de Nos Peres, won the Prix des Ecrivains Genevois, a prestigious award for unpublished manuscripts. The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair, nominated for the Prix Goncourt and winner of the Grand Prix du Roman de l'Academie Francaise and the Prix Goncourt des Lyceens, has sold more than two million copies across Europe. Sam Taylor is a novelist and journalist who has lived in France for more than a decade. His first literary translation was Laurence Binet's bestselling HHhH, which was longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.