Friday, April 8, 2016

The One-Year Twenty-Five Books Overture: The Harry Quebert Affair

This book was given to me by a sweetie of an aid worker for "All Hands" prior to her leaving my island town. It reminded me of the Millennium Trilogy because it was about investigation and crime. It was 658-pages thick and written by a European named Joël Dicker. Though the writing style is not as deep as Steig Larsson’s, I will not take it against the writer as it might be worth it's weight in gold in the original language. The woman that gave this to me was reassuring and said this is a "can’t-put-down-book" and may I say, she was right. It was one of those wherein you wanted to get to the bottom of it all fast as possible - two days and a half fast in my case, with the complimentary dark circles around my eyes from foregoing sleep. If you do start it you will have the same experience as I had, having unbridled curiosity.

Book Review:

Marcus Goldman, a newly crowned best-selling author is suffering writer’s block with his second book. His mentor named Harry Quebert, already a celebrated and established author for decades is arrested for the murder of a fifteen-year-old girl who disappeared 30 years prior. Marcus takes on the burden of clearing the name of his friend and teacher but this is not easy.

Marcus sets out to investigate already with the premise that his friend is definitely innocent but as it turns out, Harry Quebert had an affair with the 15-year old victim (Nola Kellergan) when he was in his mid-thirties. In a recessed town in New Hampshire called Somerset, readers are taken far back three decades ago for a closer look at the citizens of said town as well as the events and the mood during the disappearance.  All of the characters featured save those who had not been in the town when Nola went missing are suspects. The twists and turns will lead the reader to think of every character being focused on as the perpetrator and this is what will prevent you from taking a break from reading. It was notable that the encounters between Quebert and Nola are not elucidated because the whole thing might become dodgy. 

Naturally when it all comes down, the culprit(s) is one who you thought of at first but because of some deception in the story’s presentation, you rule the character(s) out. I will not write about the plot extensively because it is worth a read and one where you'd like to solve the case yourself.

The book is sensational, suspenseful, delves into complex characterization; it also has psychiatry, emotionalism, corruption of power and even plagiarism.

In my view it was riveting, quite the success in Europe from what I read but this was not the case in the US, one of those "lost in translation" kind of things again, I suppose.

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