Book of the Week #34

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker, translated by Sam Taylor (NY: Penguin, 2014)
The publishing phenomenon topping bestseller lists around the world, with sales of more than two million copies in Europe and rights sold in more than forty countries, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair is a fast-paced, tightly plotted, cinematic literary thriller, and an ingenious book within a book, by a dazzling young writer.
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 to 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? --Publisher's blurb

This is a big fat page-turner of a thriller set in a small, seacoast New Hampshire town (which, oddly, looks to Concord as its big town) around the time of the 2008 Presidential election. This novel, which was originally published in France was a huge best-seller there. The reviews of the English translation have been less enthusiastic (see The New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly, the Guardian, and NPR,). The New York Times, however, called it "unimpeachably terrific" and the Telegraph was positive in its article (which also has a lot of backstory on the author).

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