Review: "The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair" by Joel Dicker

I admit it has been a long time since I have read a great murder mystery, and thanks to Joel Dicker for making it onto my summer reading list, The Truth about The Harry Quebert Affair has left me begging for more. This book is teasing, enticing and a sleep-stealer.

August 30, 1975: the day fifteen-year-old Nola Kellergan is glimpsed fleeing through the woods, never to be heard from again; the day Somerset, New Hampshire, lost its innocence.

Thirty-three years later, Marcus Goldman, a successful young novelist, visits Somerset to see his mentor, Harry Quebert, one of the country's most respected writers, and find a cure for his writer's block as his publisher's deadline looms. But Marcus's plans are violently upended when Harry is suddenly and sensationally implicated in the cold-case murder of Nola Kellergan-whom, he admits, he had an affair with.

As the national media convicts Harry, Marcus launches his own investigation, following a trail of clues through his mentor's books, the backwoods and isolated beaches of New Hampshire, and the hidden history of Somerset's citizens and the man they hold most dear. To save Harry, his own writing career, and eventually even himself, Marcus must answer three questions, all of which are mysteriously connected: Who killed Nola Kellergan? What happened one misty morning in Somerset in the summer of 1975? And how do you write a book to save someone's life?

Joel's main character Marcus "the magnificant" lives up to his assumed title as he devotedly works to find the truth behind the murder of Nola Kellergan and prove Harry Quebert, his master and friend's, innocence. Each suspect Marcus encounters in this adventure are devastatingly interesting and everyone in Somerset has their share of secrets. The love between Harry and Nola is scandelously beautiful and tender at the same time. The relationship of master and devoted student between Harry and Marcus, even more so. There is a reason why this scintillating novel is an international bestseller, and having just finished the book I understand why.

This book is breath taking, full of twists and turns, and an ending I could not possibly see coming. The characters also deliver Dicker's advice to young writers about the importance of the craft in the most enticing way. This is a novel that cannot be passed up, by any aspiring or seasoned writer alike. Nor should this novel be passed up by any who enjoy a great murder mystery. Dicker's novel is extraordinary, magnificant and simply spectacular.

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