From Catherine Given
Author: Herman Koch
This is a gritty and disturbing Whodunit, but so much more. It could be subtitled, “Why bad things happen to bad Dads and their children.”
SHWSP begins calmly as the main character, Marc, a married general practitioner, reveals to us the shocking thoughts and fantasies behind his bland façade, as he examines and advises his patients. He then plans his family’s summer by the sea, to provide himself a chance to see a friend’s wife, whom he fancies. He, his wife and two daughters, a young teen and a “tween,” camp in a beach tent in the friends’ neighborhood and then accept that family’s “surprise” invitation to stay at their summer house. Tension builds quickly as we realize the diabolical and misogynistic nature of several characters there. These menacing characters, as well as Marc and his family, become caught up in a series of creepy, disturbing events. I couldn’t put it down.