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Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit #GrippedByFear #BlogTour

About Fear



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.

Is there?

'FEAR shifts our moral codes. It makes us sympathetic to violent revenge, accessories to murder. Do we want the victim to survive? No, we don't' - HERMAN KOCH, bestselling author of THE DINNER

I read and reviewed this fabulous novel back in July 2017 and you can read my review here.

All this week you can read the first two chapters as part of the #GrippedByFear Blog Tour.

Below you can read an exclusive extract from Fear


WHY IS MY FATHER IN PRISON? I don’t have to make a big secret of it. He has been found guilty of manslaughter. If he was sentenced to just eight years, that is because he confessed, and because his motives seemed less atrocious, somehow, than those of a murderer. We accepted the court’s judgement. It is hard for us, but we can’t say that justice has been ill served. My father agrees. Of course he had hoped for a mild sentence, but it was clear to him from the outset that he would go to jail as a result of his actions. There can be no talk of a spur-of-the-moment act—it was planned and carried out in sound mind.

My father’s age played no part in the trial—he did not act out of befuddlement or in a state of senility—but it was, I think, taken into account at his sentencing. The court wanted to offer him the prospect of spending his last days with his family, a free man. His sentence may be reduced after a year or two, and we cling to the words ‘day release’. My father would spend his days with us and in the evening I would drive him back to Tegel. ‘To Tegel’ is another phrase we’re fond of using. Others say it and mean the airport. We mean the prison.

I must confess that I am not innocent of this manslaughter. I could have prevented what happened, but I didn’t want to. When my father came to see us in late September last year, I knew what he was intending to do. It was a sunny day, and our windows were open, letting in all the noise of the street. The roads in our part of Berlin are cobbled, and the rumbling of the traffic is sometimes a torture to me when I work at home. My wife thinks I’m oversensitive. I once told her that Schopenhauer regarded sensitivity to noise as a sign of intelligence: the more sensitive a person was, the more intelligent he was likely to be. ‘Are you trying to tell me—’ she began. ‘No,’ I replied, ‘I’m not.’ Before long it had developed into one of those exchanges that can make married life so unpleasant. I later apologised. It wasn’t a nice thing to say, but perhaps it was true.

I was expecting my father. He had let me know he was coming the day before, and soon after he’d left home my mother rang to tell me he’d be with me in two hours at the latest. This was a recent habit. My mother didn’t think my father should be driving anymore, and if he didn’t turn up at the expected time I was to initiate search-and-rescue operations immediately. Rebecca and I agreed with my mother and didn’t like letting the children in the car with him, but my father knew nothing of this. It would have hurt and upset him—he still saw himself as a first-rate driver.
While I was waiting for my father, I wondered whether a man who no longer drove well could be a good marksman. Not that it was likely to be a tricky shot. He’d manage. I also caught myself picturing the drive going wrong in some way so that he wouldn’t have to prove himself as a marksman at all. It would only take a minor accident to prevent his arrival and foil the murder plot. I always thought of the anticipated act as murder back then—it was only afterwards that our lawyer pointed out to me that it might technically be considered manslaughter, and that manslaughter was less severely punished.

But I wasn’t really hoping for an accident. I wanted this murder. I’d been thinking about it for long enough, and now it had to happen. My wife had taken the children to stay with
her mother—the circumstances couldn’t have been better. My father’s drive, his last for the time being, would ideally be a smooth one. I’d followed the radio bulletins, and there were no traffic jams.

A few cars rumbled past and eventually I saw my father park his Ford outside our house. It’s a lovely late nineteenth-century house: wooden beams, red walls, a turret, bay windows, dormers. We live on the upper ground floor in a spacious flat with rather imposing high ceilings, stucco mouldings and private access to the garden. Above our flat is a second storey, and there are flats in the attic and basement too—four households in all.

When I opened the door and saw my father standing there, I wondered where he had put his gun. He usually wore it in a holster under his left arm, but it might also have been in his overnight bag. In the past he had often carried a little leather pouch with him, such as pipe smokers like to use for a small assortment of pipes and tampers and tobacco, but in his there was a Walther PPK—or a Glock or a Colt. We had given him the pouch one Christmas, my mother, my sister, my little brother and I, though I’ve forgotten the precise year. He had used it for a while, presumably to make us feel our present was appreciated, but he soon went back to using his holster. From his point of view, it made more sense to carry the gun under his arm where he could get at it more quickly. The pouch needed unzipping, wasting precious seconds that could have cost him his life. I assume that was his logic.

 For your chanve to win a German hamper and a signed copy of the book then tweet about a time yiu have been gripped by fear using the hashtag #GrippedByFear Awinner will be picked by the publisher on Monday 29th January.


Fear is published January 25th 2018 by Orion Publishing Group. You can pre order the book on Amazon here.

For your chance to win a signed copy of Fear and a hamper of German sweets and chocolate, then simply tweet a moment that you were gripped by fear using the hashtag #GrippedByFear. A winner will be randomly picked on Monday 29th January.


About the author

Dirk Kurbjuweit is deputy editor-in-chief at 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.
Follow the Blog Tour

With thanks to Orion and Alex Layt for inviting me to be part of this fantastic Blog Tour



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