The Ditch – the inventive new novel of suspicion and secrecy from Herman Koch, the bestselling author of The Dinner
More about the book!
The Ditch by Herman Koch is out now from Pan Macmillan SA.
I played the scene back about ten times in my mind. First from start to finish, then from finish to start. In slow motion. Frame by frame. I tried to stop the action at the moment when my wife looked from me to the alderman. I corrected myself: avoided looking at the alderman.
Author of the world-wide bestseller The Dinner, Herman Koch turns his brilliantly acid and forensic eye to the green-eyed monster: the all-too human emotion of jealousy.
Written with Koch’s trademark originality, playfulness and edge, The Ditch is the wildly clever – and guttingly familiar – story of a man whose sadistic skill for undermining himself and his marriage comes to cost him nearly everything.
‘Herman Koch has made a career from saying the apparently unsayable.’ – Financial Times
‘Herman Koch is rapidly becoming one of my favourite writers.’ – Stephen King
When Robert Walter, the popular mayor of Amsterdam, sees his wife toss her head back with laughter while chatting to one of his aldermen at a New Year’s reception, he immediately suspects she is cheating on him. Though happily married, he has always wondered why Sylvia, born and raised in a distant country, chose him.
Soon afterwards, a journalist unearths an old photograph of a police officer being beaten up by three Vietnam War protesters, one of whom she claims is Robert. Just as unexpectedly, Robert’s ninety-four-year-old father announces that he and his wife would rather end their lives than burden their son with their deteriorating health. Once stable and successful, Robert becomes entangled in his fears and suspicions, consumed by jealousy and paranoia. Nothing is what it seems, or is Robert finally beginning to see the world – and his life – as they are, for the first time?