"Joël Dicker’s innovative page-turner ... weds the allure of a jigsaw puzzle with the split-second timing of an Agatha Christie mystery.... [The Enigma of Room 622 is an] exhilarating tour de force"–The Wall Street Journal — Wall Street Journal
"This astonishingly smart, emotionally satisfying, and strangely intimate novel is not to be missed." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“How is the latest Joël Dicker? …Tension crackles on every page. Melodrama veers to suspense … [Dicker] has mastered the genre." — Le Figaro
"A tale of romance, masterful duplicity, and... [a] cleverly jigsawed plot, [The Enigma of Room 622 is both]... homage to Agatha Christie, and ... a touching farewell to Dicker's late publisher." — Booklist
Praise for previous title: "Joël Dicker is a bright ... star of suspense." — Lisa Gardner
Praise for previous title: "Unimpeachably perfect.... It's [Dicker's] light touch and engaging voice that make [his] writing so infectious." — The New York Times Book Review
[Dicker] stages his drama as masquerade and, at curtain call, finally takes off the mask. In a novel where the clues are interwoven with such precision, Dicker's true loyalties are pronounced loud and clear: paternal love..., writing, his mentor Bernard,... Albert Cohen, Tolstoy, and García Márquez, and attachment to his city, Geneva. — La Tribune de Genève
In short... [The Enigma of Room 622 is] a simmering concoction that even Agatha Christie would find irresistible, ...[taking the reader] along for a dizzying ride. — Le Parisien
With The Enigma of Room 622, Dicker's strengths as a storyteller resurface once again ... we are caught in a fascinating assembly of clues –constructing and reconstructing scenes during which the characters disappear into an elaborate game of charades. — Le Journal du Dimanche
Even if means writing another page-turner, Jöel Dicker gives us his all, having as much fun playing with conventions as ever, and, in turn, elevating the detective novel to new heights — Le Soir
One of the most widely read Francophone authors in the world... [Dicker] knows how to captivate readers ... twist and turns ... meticulous investigations, he jumps back and forth in time, all the better to lose us yet drive us impatient for the final denouement. Pure reading pleasure. — Lire
Nearly a decade ago, Dicker took the international literary community by storm with The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, a clever, out-of-nowhere hit. The author's "overnight" success and status as an in-demand thriller writer looking for material for his next book forms the basis for this metafictional novel. He finds inspiration in a story of financiers jockeying for position as president of a prestigious Geneva bank and their connection to a murder in a hotel room. Macaire Ebezner, the would-be heir to his family's banking empire, sold his shares 15 years ago, presumably losing his father's trust in the process, and now has to rely on a series of dubious schemes and shady alliances to ensure his ascension to the throne. These details are discovered and narrated by a writer named Joël, who is still mourning the death of the publisher who helped turn Harry Quebert into a sensation, and his assistant Scarlett. This layering of truth onto fiction promises depth, but it's not clear what this adds to the central mystery of the victim in Room 622 and who killed him, beyond an inflated page count. VERDICT Twists abound in this elaborate mystery, but readers will have to power through clichéd dialogue, jarring time shifts, and thin characterization to enjoy them.—Michael Pucci
Swiss writer Dicker's latest thriller concerns a corpse in a hotel room and a fight for the top job at a private Geneva bank.
As in his breakout novel, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair (2014), Dicker has a framing story here about a writer. Only this one is named Joël, and he refers frequently to his beloved publisher, Bernard de Fallois, the name of the real author’s publisher, who shepherded Quebert and died in 2018. Whatever tribute was intended, though, it seems a dubious one given the novel’s problems. In the framing story, the writer stumbles on an unsolved murder and investigates while using the material to write his latest thriller, which is—you guessed it. As for the corpse, the crime occurred when a new bank president was about to be named. The likeliest candidate, the former bank chief’s son, may be sidelined because 15 years earlier he traded his shares to a shady financier in exchange for something outside the banking world (the potential for spoilers makes it hard to be more precise). The heart of the story concerns a love triangle as well as the love/hate between fathers, or father surrogates, and sons. But that worthy heart is smothered in layers of adipose backstory, and the tortuous plot proves nearly impossible to follow given the constant shifts among, and fuzziness of, the three main time frames. Fast readers may get the most enjoyment from all this if they can fly lightly over the clunky dialogue, flat characters, improbable behavior (“Sagamore, swallowing the last slice of pizza, stood up”), repetitions, and clichés, and so quickly motor past the first 400 pages to the point where the investigation finally picks up some speed. But that pleasure is short-lived, for the plot twists soon take over and quickly evolve from surprising to utterly implausible.
A flawed outing that may disappoint even Dicker’s fans.