harryThe Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker is a LONG mystery book filled with many twists and turns. Originally written in French, the novel won a few  international awards.

This is a story about a young author who, after writing a successful first novel, finds himself unable to put words to paper for a second which he promised to write for his publisher. Confronted with overwhelming doubt, he turns to his former teacher, who is also a best-selling author for advice. What a shock our young author receives when his revered mentor is accused of killing a 15-year-old girl over thirty years prior. Marcus, the young author, rises to his mentor’s defense and begins investigating the very cold clues.

The story is filled with small town stereotypes based perhaps on false beliefs about Americans in general. In my opinion, the character of the 15-year-old girl lacks depth or substance. The word “lemonade” is used repeatedly throughout the story and I am left wondering why. Again, perhaps this has something to do with a book about Americans written by a European.

I admit I found the book engaging and enjoyed it. Was it great writing? No, I can only say it was great in volume. I did enjoy the writing advice dispensed at the beginning of each chapter. There was a great deal of repetition as is always the case when different characters tell the same tale. At times, I thought it was just too much and a waste of time. As I read this book I liked it so much that I was thinking it qualified for my “5 star” list. Unfortunately, the end of the novel disappointed me so that I dropped my rating to a “3 star”. If you have the arm muscles for a 600+ page book, enjoy mysteries, and light, non-literary reading, I think you will enjoy this story.

About dianeledet

Professional Writing Consultant, Graduate of DePaul University School for New Learning 2008
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