Saturday, January 12, 2013

Small World by Martin Suter

Konrad has grown up in the shadow of Thomas Koch. He's always been at Thomas's beck and call. Lately Konrad has become absent-minded. When he catches fire to one of the Koch family homes the family is sure that this will be the last time that Elvira(the Koch family matriarch) supports him. They are wrong. Elvira sets him up with a weekly allowance and a place to live.

More and more Konrad is forgetting things. Thinking that it is the alcohol causing his forgetfulness Konrad stops drinking. When he meets a woman and falls in love, Konrad decides to break ties with the Koch family once and for all.

Sinking further and further into Alzheimer's Konrad finally no longer recognizes his lover and has to be institutionalized.

When Thomas's son Urs marries Simone he carries on with his fathers philandering ways. When Konrad escapes the institution the Koch family find him on their property. Disheartened by Urs' behavior Simone decides to start visiting Konrad to find what his connection with the family is. Agreeing to set Konrad up in the guest house, Elvira believes that this will help her keep track of Konrad's memories. After all, there are family secrets that she never wants him to remember.

The blurb on the back says that this is a "gripping psychological thriller." I have to say that I did not find this in any way a thriller. Despite that, I found the story entertaining. I became attached to Konrad's story and felt for his decline into Alzheimer's. The majority of the book was mainly what was happening with Konrad's care, the last bit of the book did delve into some thriller-like aspects, but not enough to get the heart pumping.

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