Every year, I spend a week on Sanibel Island, lounging on the beach with my toes in the water and reading something fun and light. And every year, my first stop is my favorite bookstore on the island: The Sanibel Island Bookshop. I have a sneaking suspicion that the owner browses my pinterest board and stocks up on all of the books I want to read. I pass by the shelves pointing and muttering, “I want to read that one. And that one. And that one.”
This year, I decided to pick up The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair. The title was so intriguing, I accidentally pinned it twice!
Marcus Goldman, a one hit wonder of an author, is struggling to begin his second novel. Plagued with a debilitating case of writer’s block, Goldman reached out to his college mentor and famous writer, Harry Quebert. Soon after the two reconnect, the body of a teenage girl is found. And the prime suspect? Harry Quebert. And Goldman’s writer’s block? Gone! Conveniently for Goldman, a killer story has just landed in his lap as he attempts to prove the innocence of his mentor.
Going into this book, I had never read a well written mystery novel. After finishing, I can say I still have yet to read one. I know the pleasure of a mystery novel is in the unraveling of the story, and I try to stay focused on that. But it’s hard to dodge the cornball language hurled at me on every page. And why should I have to settle? Why can’t I have a good thriller that also happens to be well written?
Ignoring the pauses I took to gag and roll my eyes, I will say that I breezed through the novel, eager to read to the end and find out what happened to the unfortunate teenage girl. By the end of the book, I had pointed my accusing finger at just about every person living in the small, New Hampshire town. From the outset, the author led me astray and handed me clues, which I eagerly grabbed at, only to continually find myself misled again and again, right up to the end of the book.
Do I think this book deserves the hype that it’s gotten this summer? No. But it was a pretty perfect, mindless beach read, so it served its purpose admirably.