Like many, I am obsessed with murder mysteries and could solve essentially any crime based on the countless hours that I have devoured Law & Order and Criminal Minds, not to mention the backbone of my childhood being 'babysat' by reruns of Perry Mason when I was spending the day with my grandma. I'm a sucker for a good who-dun-it, and I suspect everyone in my life to be a part of some bigger mystery and I'm not talking spiritually but like, they were FOR SURE part of some weird encounter that would solve the next big case. The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair fully supported this creepy obsession of murder mysteries and I loved every minute of it.
The story follows the newly famous author, Marcus Goldman, on the search for material for his sophomore book to a small town in New Hampshire, where his mentor, Harry Quebert, has settled down after writing a super famous novel as well. A body of a 15 year-old girl, Nola Kellergan, is discovered and Harry is arrested when his original manuscript is discovered with the body of the girl in his yard, uncovered by gardeners. We soon discover that when Nola went missing in the 70's, she had a steamy affair with then 30-something year-old Harry. The story essentially follows Marcus trying to reveal Harry's innocence but like any good murder mystery, there are SO MANY confusing key points that just DON'T MAKE SENSE. It follows a ton of beautiful forbidden love, juicy family secrets, and small town gossip. Right up my alley.
I read a few reviews on this book, (and while apparently is was super popular in Europe, it wasn't as well received here) and many of the negative opinions towards it were directed at the overstated cliches of characters, but that is what I loved about it!!! A crabby and nosy diner owner, the egotistical popular cop, the New York famous misunderstood transplant, the emotional and naive preacher father, so on. It really made it so much more dramatic and entertaining that way. If it was a film- Nicholas Cage or Amanda Seyfreid would FOR SURE star in it in some way and of course the dialogue was a bit outrageous at times too, like an episode of Greys Anatomy. The characters motives changed a ton through out the book; I couldn't trust anyone and as soon as it suggested the case was solved, there was a weird twist that continued the plot in a completely different way.
"A good book, Marcus, is judged not by its last words but by the cumulative effect of all the words that have preceded them. About half a second after finishing your book, after reading the very last word, the reader should be overwhelmed by a particular feeling. for a moment he should think only of what he has just read; he should look at the jacket and smile a little sadly because he is already missing all the characters. A good book, Marcus, is a book you are sorry has ended." - Joel Dicker, The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair
The story line was brilliant and deceiving, by the end I had to do research on if it was a true crime novel and not fiction! It was pretty long weighing in at 600+ pages but I could not put it down and was so satisfied by the end, it wrapped up in such a smart way that I loved. I would totally recommend this book to anyone looking for a juicy read or a good crime novel. NPR reviewers hated this book but Europe clung to it quickly- you decide for yourself!