The Enigma of Room 622

HarperAudio. Sept. 2022. tr. from French by Robert Bononno. 16 hrs. ISBN 9780063098848. $38.99. M
Dicker’s award-winning international best-seller The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair was translated from the French into over 30 languages and adapted as a 10-episode American TV miniseries. His latest thriller, the first he’s set in his hometown of Geneva, Switzerland, contains some autobiographical elements, including a touching tribute to French literary legend Bernard de Fallois, his late friend and publisher. In the novel, author Joël travels to the luxurious Hotel Verbier in the Swiss Alps, mourning Bernard’s passing. There he meets the charming Scarlett, who distracts him with a mystery—why does the Verbier have a Room 621a, but no Room 622? The two learn of an unsolved murder years earlier in 622, and chapters describing their investigation alternate with chapters describing the events surrounding the murder. The meticulously crafted plot flows smoothly but quickly, while the points of view and setting shift constantly, a challenge for any narrator. Chris Harper, however, masterfully guides listeners along while creating distinct personalities for the diverse characters and maintaining perfect consistency for author Joël’s interior voice.
VERDICT With nods to classic mysteries as well as cutting-edge financial, legal, and police procedural elements, this brilliantly narrated metafictional thriller should please nearly all mystery fans.
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