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Judicious literary-journalistic analysis of a robbery and murder

The Book of Daniel

Chris De Stoop

Found among the rubble of a burnt-down old farm is the lifeless body of its owner, 84-year-old farmer Daniel. The fire was started deliberately to erase all trace of a horrendous yet almost banal robbery and murder. The perpetrators are soon caught, not least because they boast about their actions to friends and even share a clip of the old man’s abuse on social media.

Here’s a drama that will haunt you for a long time, not least because of its compelling structure.
De Volkskrant

Farmer Daniel is the uncle of writer and journalist Chris De Stoop. Although they were not close, De Stoop decides to represent his family in the courtroom. In this book, he reports on the process, collects witness statements and draws incisive portraits of the perpetrators, who all hailed from poor, disadvantaged backgrounds and were not brought up with good moral values. He also reflects on ethical dilemmas about guilt and retribution.

In his familiar sober style, but with an eye for significant detail and with great empathy where necessary, Chris De Stoop registers all the different aspect of this case and ends up creating a devastating literary drama. In his homage to this forgotten farmer and the decline of his craft, this book is also a seamless follow-up to the successful ‘This Is My Farm’.

A book you can’t put down and that sends shivers down your spine
De Morgen
Without doubt one of the highlights of the literary season
Het Nieuwsblad