Authorial Assassination


Herman Koch’s Dear Mr. M features an author, an intriguing story of two teenagers and their teacher, and 40 years’ time before the truth is revealed, even if it is to a limited audience.

M is a well-known writer whose celebrity has been declining, but was cemented with the book he wrote decades ago that was based upon the real-life case of the disappearance of a high school history teacher under suspicious circumstances while visiting two of his students, one of whom he had an affair with. When fortune has M move into an apartment in the same building as the man who was involved in the teacher’s disappearance, the man quietly observes M and his family, but to what end?

Well written and compiled story to form the complex, overarching narrative. Told from varying perspectives of the man observing and of M, with interjections from some of the other notable characters, the story’s intricacies develop and come to light in a suspenseful manner. The twists of the dark narrative keep you on your toes up until the very end–while you think you might know what will be revealed next, you’ll likely be surprised what actually happens. The probing “what ifs” that tread the line between the facts of the case and the imagination of the fiction demonstrate the complex nature of the human condition.

Overall, I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


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