I've seen a lot of comparisons to _Gone Girl_, and I could see that, but _The Dinner_ reminded me more of Elfride Jelinek's _The Piano Teacher_. The main characters' savagery is similar to Erika Kohut's, but less indiscriminate, more directed. Like Jelinek's, this book also explores the way the hothouse of a family culture distills the pathology of the larger society, and finds its purest expression in murderous offspring. Usually, I dislike the introduction of a neurological aspect into fiction. When it's easy to dismiss a character as having funky brain chemistry, it's less relevant to the rest of us. Here, though, Koch undermines this by leaving the coup de grace in the hands of a character who is, as for as we know, completely "normal." Koch's world is a dark one, where good is a synonym for weak, easily overcome by those with fewer scruples and the ruthlessness to prevail. Overall, a chilling read.