*I received an arc via Netgalley in return for an honest review. I also have the permission of the publisher to share my review as a #SneakPeak #Review.*
Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit
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.
My review: (Written March 2017)
This is such a unique quirky read but it is also the first read this year to give me literal nightmares! Out of a staggering 56 read so far!
The plot and themes really get inside your head.
Fear is written by German author Dirk Kurbjweit and loosely based around his own real life case of being stalked. Stalking, or more so, terrorising is the central theme and it is so subtle yet eerie and fear provoking all at the same time. Randolph is the protagonist he is reluctant, kind and maybe slightly too passive and a successful Architect by trade. His wife Rebecca is the real intended victim of the stalker with every attempt being made, one to strike at her emotions and generate fear. They also have two young children Paul and Fay. What they don’t know when they move into the flat in Berlin is that it harbours a rather sinister secret within its basement in the form of the neighbouring tenant.
The stalking begins with biscuits and treats and is taken as it should be a friendly gesture of kindness. However, it quickly develops into poetry and letters. The basement tenant Dieter is relentless in his approach to victimise and terrorise the family, especially Rebecca. What starts as innocent over shows at attempts of affection escalates into sexualised harassments and intimidation. Eventually Dieter fully accuses Randolph and Rebecca of abusing their own children.
They begin to both become self-conscious and self-accusatory and their marriage begins to suffer.
One thing that really struck a chord with me with this novel, is that early on whilst receiving no help from the police at all. The couple begin to play down Dieters disturbing behaviour. I am not criticising their experiences, just wonder why do we do that in society? It’s almost as if we rush to assume that something we did actively contributed towards someone victimising us? Often we like to think when reading a novel that’s dark and haunting, that it could never happen to us, but as this novel shows essentially it can happen to anyone!
There is a backstory surrounding Randolph’s father being in jail for murder. The obvious conclusion is drawn that it is linked to the case, but to learn the full truth we must read the novel to discover. Randolph’s childhood is talked about and he perhaps too often repeats that he had a normal/happy childhood and is thoroughly middle-class. Dieter on the other hand grew up subjected to abuse, humiliation, physical beating and sexual assaults.
Could this be his motivation for tormenting the family? Is Dieter jealous of the family’s previous happy state? Is their Happiness the source of his rage?
With friends, family members and even the children affected by Dieter’s continued passive aggressive actions the question becomes, what is Randolph going to do about it? They exhaust the legal procedures. Sgt Leidinger can provide no further support due to their being no anti-stalking laws at this time. The family hits breaking point!
This novel would make ideal reading for book groups as the plot raises so many questions. Why do we allow casual sexual harassment? Why do we wait to be attacked? Why do we our legal systems undermine the power that slander and accusations can have in a modern world?
I thoroughly recommend this novel for fans of the thriller genre and as I have stated it will get in your head! 5*
***This novel is due to be released 25th January 2018 and it is sure to be a huge hit!***
Currently available for pre-order online!