This is a physiological thriller and very detailed depiction of human nature. The start of this book appears to be letter to an author, hence the title, Dear Mr M. It becomes all too apparent after reading a chapter or two that this letter writer is a stalker. He’s watching and reporting his observations via his letter or manifesto. I was hooked after 2 chapters.
The stalker/letter writer addresses a book Mr. M wrote years ago. Mr. M took the real life disappearance of a high school teacher, a teacher who had a fling with Laura (one of his female students), and turned it into a fictional account. This was a very popular novel filled with conjecture about the disappearance and the possible guilt of two of his former students.
The stalker then turns to the real story about the teacher and young girl, leaving you with cliff hangers at the end of several chapters.
Very abruptly the novel switches narrators. Mr. M, the aging bored writer, is the narrator and this part just doesn’t have the attraction of the previous 50 or so pages. Still, interesting enough and I read on. The narrator and time frame again change abruptly to 20 something years ago and we get a glimpse of the female student Laura and her new boyfriend Herman.
The part on Dutch politics didn’t thrill me nor did the middle part of the book when we had to hear, ad nauseum, about the teenagers and their thoughts.
Sounds confusing but I was still on board with all the story lines until it just lost steam. For me. I see there are some 5 star reviews but this ultimately wasn’t my cuppa tea. I did like the writing in Herman Koch’s book The Dinner.
I received this book free of charge from the Blogging for Books program. All opinions are mine.