“The Riddle of the chamber 622” de Joël Dicker: on the trail of a crime has never been solved

«L’Énigme de la chambre 622» de Joël Dicker: sur la piste d’un crime jamais résolu

More than two months after the scheduled date for the launch – pandemic require, the new novel by Joël Dicker finally comes out in bookstores. The Riddle of the chamber 622, a novel completely addictive, takes place in the mountains and valleys of Switzerland, a nod to the banking sector, plays on several levels and pays tribute to his publisher, Bernard de Fallois, who died in 2018 in Paris.

Joël Dicker has imagined that a murder had taken place one evening in December at the palace of Verbier, a prestigious hotel in the swiss Alps, then that was the election of a new president of one of the most important private banks of Switzerland. The crime was never solved.

Years later, during the summer of 2018, a successful writer decided to go on holiday to the palace of Verbier, after the death of its editor and a relationship break-up. Then he thought rest and recharge its batteries, the young writer meets a young woman who is quickly on the trail of the murder that happened years before and suggested to him to resolve it.

Joël Dicker leads his readers to the heart of Geneva, his native city, and the magnificent scenery of the swiss Alps in this novel evil, as precise as a swiss watch. It shows us a Switzerland, which is not as peaceful as some imagined, on a background of low blows, betrayals, jealousy, games of power and of love triangle.

A tribute to his editor

Joël Dicker makes a touching tribute to her publisher, Bernard de Fallois, in the course of this fifth novel, excellent, that reflects the immense talent of the author and his intelligence of the heart.

“I wanted to talk about him because he was a fascinating character, surprising and so extraordinary. After his death, I said to myself : this is really the time to talk about our relationship, especially while the memories are still very present and very alive in my mind.”

Starting the writing of The Riddle of the chamber 622, Joël Dicker had a desire, above all, to speak of Bernard de Fallois and talk of his home town, Geneva. “How to tell Bernard ? Finally, I decided to talk about my relationship with him instead of his life, from 1926 to 2018. I wanted something that comes from the heart, and not something that comes from a biographical research.”

Geneva, city

And then came the difficulty of telling Geneva. “I live in Geneva. I want to tell you, as for Bernard, a Geneva of feelings and not a Geneva of reality. For these two items, I had this urge and the difficulty of doing so in a very personal way, and it took me a little time. The best way to talk about it, it was to tell a fiction, because a fiction, it is freedom.”

This is the first time that one of its storylines taking place in Switzerland. “I have the impression of living a different book to the other, because it is Geneva, this is my city.”

Two temporalities

The unsolved murder in a palace, as he describes it, has been totally invented by the author. “I really wanted to mark a difference in rhythm and spirit in the two temporalities of the book.”

He continues. “The temporality of fiction is a true thriller, in a palace, with a side of Agatha Christie, and beside that, a whole section on Bernard, who is in the story. It comes out a little from the novel, and the part of the story, it was really the events such as I experienced with Bernard. There is the Joel of the fiction, and the Joel of the story.”

♦ Joel Dicker was born in Geneva in 1985 and he still lives there.

♦ His novels are award-winning have been translated in many countries.

♦ He has received the Grand prix du roman of the Académie française and the prix Goncourt des Lycéens for The Truth about the Case of Harry Quebertadapted into a tv series by Jean-Jacques Annaud and filmed in part on the North Shore.

♦ He has published The Book of Baltimore in 2015, and The disappearance of Stephanie Mailer in 2018.


The Riddle of the chamber 622
Joël Dicker
Editions de Fallois
576 pages”>

The Riddle of the chamber 622
Joël Dicker
Editions de Fallois
576 pages

It was 6: 30 in the morning. The palace of Verbier was plunged into darkness. Outside it was still dark and it was snowing heavily.

On the sixth floor, the doors of the service elevator opened. A hotel employee appeared with a tray of breakfast and walked to the room 622.

Arriving there, he realized that the door was ajar. The light coming through the interstice. He announced, but did not get any response. He eventually took the liberty to enter, assuming that the door had been opened for her. What he saw tore a scream. He runs off to go alert his colleagues and call for help.”

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