Spate of Violence- Peggie Biessmann


This social drama is set in a small satellite town of Frankfurt, which could be in the domain of just about any western city. The small town is mainly one of middle class streets. There is though, an area called the Park which is made up of low cost, high-rise apartments. This neighbourhood is full of foreign and first generation German citizens, many of Turkish extraction. The Park is an estate labelled by high unemployment and crime. The story is written in a pacey way, without any excess of information or irrelevant detail. Biessmann has a very modern style of writing that keeps the plot boiling along. The descriptions are always crystal clear.
The ending rather faded, as though a next episode was soon due, despite this my interest was sustained to the very end. That isn’t to say there wasn’t a crescendo, just not one quite as sustained at a peak as the plot was set to allow. Quite possibly Biessmann deliberately undercooked the end in order to maintain a strong sense of the real, of the truly plausible, to leave us with a message rather than an adrenaline high. I was led to feel that I understood a great deal about the many principle characters without at any stage being burdened by the information build. The writing is omniscient, detached, and yet draws a great depth of emotion from the principle characters thoughts and actions.
I can see this book working very well as a television drama, provided good acting is used to convey Biessmann’s sharp emotive descriptions. Many of the all too common ills of society and the often inevitable paths they lead the differentially placed individuals on, make for a very compelling and believable read. If any of us where in any of their shoes would we be so different? Only the strongest of us are ever more than where we sit is where we stand, as is true amongst this interesting cast.


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