I just finished Dear Mr. M by Herman Koch. I loved The Dinner, which was the first book I ever read by Mr. Koch and so I was really excited to finally get this from the library.
Dear Mr. M mainly concerns a writer, Mr M, whose star is waning and his neighbor who has a connection to his past success. Mr. M wrote his best-selling book based on a real crime that had occurred. He then fictionalized the outcome. His neighbor. now living quietly below him has a connection to the original crime and Mr. M’s book. The neighbor takes an interest in Mr M, his life, his career, and his wife, much in the same way Mr. M had taken an interest in the neighbor’s life when he was in the media spotlight.
The novel switches perspectives among the characters, and shifts time between when the original crime occurred and the present day. There is an overall sense of tension and foreboding as the reader waits for story of these, for the most part unlikable, characters to unfold.
The book is so much more than a thriller and more than all the latest books that have blurbs somewhere on the cover “for fans of Gone…” There are themes of revenge, mediocrity, connectedness and disconnectedness, respect, and obsession. The writing is top-notch. Five out of five stars, highly recommended.