REVIEW: The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair, Joël Dicker

I have loved crime novels for a long time and I am used to speeding through shorter crime novels in one or two sittings. When I saw The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair sitting on a shelf in my favourite book shop, I was excited by the fact that it is a longer, weighty novel, something to hold my attention for some time. I read it in less than four days. Over 600 pages and I  couldn’t put it down. Every opportunity to read and there I was, hooked from the very first chapter.

Of course, giving a review of a mystery is tricky, I don’t want to give anything away. However with this book there are so many twists and turns, changes in personality, changes in alliby and motive, that it is impossible to summarise the plot anyway. You need to read the book.

What I can tell you, is that the novel follows Marcus Goldman, protege to Harry Quebert and his investigation into what happened in the summer of 1975. This search for the truth begins when, in 2008, during the run up to the election that would see Barack Obama become President, a body is discovered in the gardens of Harry Queberts home, buried alongside one of his manuscripts.

The novel is a logistical masterpiece. Timelines, plots, memories and characters both reliable and unreliable are layered over each other to give this book a sense of genuine urgency. By the end of the novel I was certain these characters were real, these events had happened. The use of Obamas presidential campaign is genius in setting the events into history and making them seem completely genuine.

I stayed up until 2am to finish the book because there was a point (several points, really) of no return. Where I had to know what had happened in 1975. Having finished the novel I sat for a moment taking it all in. The ending was perfect, it was unexpected, it did just enough.

This is a book about writing, about love, but most of all about people. I highly recommend going and having a read, I’m sure by the end you’ll agree.

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