The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair

Penguin. Jun. 2014. 656p. tr. from French by Sam Taylor. ISBN 9780143126683. pap. $18; ebk. ISBN 9780698171121. F
OrangeReviewStarSwiss debut author Dicker has proven himself to be a talented new writer with this story of forbidden love, dashed hopes, and the darkness that lies inside all of us. Successful author Marcus Goldman, approaching his 30th birthday, is suffering from a severe case of writer's block. On a winter visit with a friend, renowned writer Harry Quebert, Marcus accidentally discovers that Harry was once in love with a 15-year-old girl who vanished in the mid-1970s from a small New Hampshire town. Marcus is drawn into the mystery as he decides to make this the subject of his second novel. So begins a sordid tale with labyrinthine plot twists, an ominous atmosphere, and characters who are never quite what they seem. Moving deftly between Marcus writing his book in 2008 and the events of the summer of 1975, the titles takes readers on a harrowing journey through a town's most shattering secrets.
VERDICT Fans of mystery and suspense novels will enjoy this clever melding of TV shows Twin Peaks and The Killing as well as a liberal dusting of themes from The Exorcist. Already an international best seller and a winner of three French literary prizes, this is an astonishing and clever treatise on the nature of evil.
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