Title: Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit
Release Date: 25th January 2018
You’d die for your family. But would you kill for them?
Family is everything.
So what if yours was being terrorised by a neighbour – a man who doesn’t listen to reason, whose actions become more erratic and sinister with each passing day? And those you thought would help – the police, your lawyer – can’t help you.
You become afraid to leave your family at home alone. But there’s nothing more you can do to protect them.
I received an ARC copy of this book via NetGalley.
Randolph and his family move into a new flat. A man called Dieter Tiberius lives in the basement flat below them and becomes fixated on Randolph’s wife and children. He sends them letters saying that they were sexually abusing their children. They try everything they can to reason with him but nothing works, they even seek legal advice and go to the police but nothing helps. What more can Randolph do to protect his family?
The is the second book I’ve read within a month expecting a tense psychological thriller that turns out to be something different.
I had high hopes when it opened with his father in jail. Why was he in jail? Well you find that out pretty quickly, (I don’t want to spoil it for you) then it goes back in time and you basically get Randolph’s life history, as it documents his relationship with his father, then later his wife and brother.
It does go backwards and forwards between the past and the time they are being terrorised by Dieter but with all the back and forth I felt it lost a lot of the tension.
Then there was our narrator, Randolph. I found it really hard to relate to him, not just because he’s a man but I also found him condescending, selfish with a tendency to waffle on a bit. Okay it is horrible to be accused of any crime, especially if you’re innocent, but I kept thinking to myself why don’t you just move?
Overall not my style but if you’re a fan of character driven plots focusing on family relationships then it might be for you.
Dirk Kurbjuweit is deputy editor-in-chief at German current affairs magazine Der Spiegel, where he has worked since 1999, and divides his time between Berlin and Hamburg. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the Egon Erwin Kisch Prize for journalism, and is the author of seven critically acclaimed novels, many of which, including FEAR, have been adapted for film, television and radio in Germany. FEAR is the first of his works to be translated into English.