FeareBook - 2017
"I had always believed my father capable of a massacre. Whenever I heard on the news that there had been a killing spree, I would hold my breath, unable to relax until it was clear that it couldn't have been him."
Randolph Tiefenthaler insists he had a normal childhood, though he grew up with a father who kept thirty loaded guns in the house. A modestly successful architect with an attractive, intelligent wife, Rebecca, and two children, Randolph finds his life turned upside down when his father, a man he loves yet has always feared, is imprisoned for murder.
Fear is the story of the twisted events leading up to his father's incarceration. It begins when Randolph and his family move into a new building and meet their neighbor, Dieter Tiberius, the peculiar yet seemingly friendly man living in the basement apartment. As the Tiefenthalers settle into their home, they become increasingly disturbed as Dieter's strange behaviour turns malevolent. Randolph unravels the tale of Dieter's harassment -- the erotic letters he sends to Rebecca, his spying, his accusations of child abuse, and the police reports he files against the Tiefenthalers. Finally, Randolph confesses his own feelings of desperation and helplessness, which ultimately lead to his father's intervention.
As Randolph plumbs the depths of his own uncertainty surrounding the murder -- pondering fundamental questions about masculinity, violence, and the rule of law -- his reliability is slowly but irrevocably called into doubt. The result is an unsettling meditation on middle-class privilege and "civilized life" that builds to a shocking conclusion.