Good. Evil. Bratwurst.

Outsider in Amsterdam

Posted on by arlen

OK, so the secret is out: I’m addicted to Dutch mystery writers. This one is part of the series written by Janwillem van de Wetering about the two Amsterdam cops Grijpstra and De Gier. But the addiction doesn’t just extend to this series. I’m also in love with Maj Sjowal and Per Wahloo’s output, and even the pseudo-Dutch output of Nicholas Freeling. I freely admit, however, for the American market these books are an acquired taste.

In this one, the two cops are called to the scene of an all-too-neat corpse, a murder staged to look like suicide. De Gier beds the widow, and looks forward to more of her, until she insists his cat would have to go. Grijpstra deals with the politics of his superiors in hos own cynical way, adn eventually the two converge on the solution.

The somewhat cynical outlook of the book isn’t the hard-boiled cynicism of American novels, but rather an amused one, coming from a man who knows what he is saying is absurd, but says it anyway because he must if he is to keep his job. And, since he knows he also must catch the bad guys with some efficiency if he is to keep his job, he always finds a way to keep politics from blockinghis path.

Probably not for the average American reader, but if you’re wiling to take a trip into a mindset from a different society, it’s worth the trip.

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April 2005
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