Every year I spend a week in Sanibel and every year my first stop is my favorite bookstore on the island, The Sanibel Island Bookshop. It’s as if the buyer went through my pinterest board, stocking up on all of the books I want to read. I pass by the shelves 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!
The story is about Marcus Goldman, a one hit wonder of an author struggling to begin his second book. Having a bad case of writer’s block, Goldman reconnects with his college mentor and famous writer, Harry Quebert. Soon after they get back in touch the body of Nola Kellergan, a teenage girl, is found and Quebert is the prime suspect. And quite conveniently, Goldman now has something to write a new best-selling book about as he tries to prove Quebert’s innocence.
Going into this book I had never read a well written mystery novel. And after finishing I can say I still have yet to read one. I know that when it comes to mysteries I need to focus on the story and forget the writing, but I seem to find that impossible when cornball dialogue and language is thrown at me on every page. Why is it impossible to have a good mysterious thriller that also happens to be well written?
Trying to ignore every time I gagged and rolled my eyes, I can say that I breezed through the novel, eager to read to the end and find out what happened to Nola. By the end of the book you’ll have assumed just about every person living in the small New Hampshire town is a suspect at one point or another. From the beginning of the book Dicker intentionally leads you astray and hands you clues, which are continually being proved false until 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.