This is an absorbing, dark psychological story, in which two families come together for a meal in an Amsterdam restaurant in order to discuss the disturbing actions of their teenage children. It starts out as an ordinary meal in an upscale establishment but as it progresses so too does the family drama and the moral dilemmas they each face.
This work forces one to think a lot about how far one would go to protect the ones you love. It's narrated by Paul, the father of one teenage boy. He provides a very vivid picture of not only the meal itself and the recent actions of the teenagers but also the dynamics behind the family histories. Suddenly these “ordinary” people are faced with choices that may change their lives forever. Needless to say, they all have differing opinions about how to handle their dilemmas.
Throughout the dinner the sad, shocking events that reveal themselves through Paul's narration builds up to an intense, suspenseful climax. Koch has a way of writing that makes the reader feel as if he or she is right there at the table with the other guests, watching and waiting for something to happen. It's chilling and it gets right under your skin, which is probably why it's so hard to put down.
Thanks to blogging for books for providing me with the book in exchange for an honest review.