Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair: A Novel by Joel Dicker

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair: A Novel. Joel Dicker. Penguin Group (USA). May 2014.  656 pp. pbk. ISBN #: 9780143126683.

Marcus Goldman one year ago was a famous writer whose name and appearance on stage, in stores, in the press, or anywhere one could imagine was bound to draw huge, immense crowds.  He’s now a wealthy man but is about to lose it all because he has a very serious case of writer’s block, an insidious disease that seems to increase with time and pressurized attention.  He fears failure and especially fears the disappointment that will be his mentor, Harry Quebert’s probable response.  But Harry Quebert is about to have another far steeper problem to worry about than Marcus’s brain freeze!

The nightmare of the discovery of Nola Kellergan’s body after a thirty-year disappearance begins a spiraling journey involving the battle to determine Harry Quebert’s innocence or guilt.  Yes, Nola was last seen running through the woods of Somerset, New Hampshire and now she’s found with Quebert’s manuscript next to her very dead body!  Quebert is arrested and Marcus decides to investigate every single facet of Nola and Quebert’s affair, if one could call it that guilt-laden term.  That search is absolutely riveting and productive in so many unexpected ways involving unexpected characters.

This is the story of what fuels the imaginations of great writers and how success can stymie even the most creative artist.  It’s about infatuated love from and between several characters that quickly moves into the dangerous territory of obsession.  It’s about guilty by association, betrayal by those suffering from unrequited love; and it’s about how delightful it is for the media to damn an alleged criminal because of an ill-timed association and the sensationalism that fuels public attention. 

But much, much more than that this novel is about the depths of friendship, trust and loyalty that surmounts the fickle public and even private moods and opinions of former supporters.  It’s a magnificent novel that should be a best seller, a story that not only will remain in the public’s attention but deserves to be credited with a more truthful approach to guilt and innocence needing remediation in so many places and times!  Terrific thriller, crime fiction, Joel Dicker!

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