Why a booktrail?
The return to Amsterdam to meet up again with Inspector Jaap Rykel and the city that has more secrets than canals…
Story in a nutshell
A body is found minus its head. Both hands have been blowtorched.
Enter Inspector Jaap Rykel who is quick to realise that this is nothing like he has ever investigated before. Unusual and overly violent – just who is this man?
A question all the more urgent and personal when Rykel finds photos of himself on the dead man’s phone. Some madman seems to know where he lives and who he is. How did the victim have these messages about him?
The phone rings. It’s the killer with another message….
Place and setting
Amsterdam is once again awash with criminals and strange goings on but to best understand the dynamics of the police force in charge of these crimes, we advise you read the first book in the series After the Silence as it does introduce the playing field, characters and the city of Amsterdam in its leading role.
Inspector Rykel lives on a houseboat on an Amsterdam canal. Something unusual perhaps but then again this is Amsterdam. What is unusual is that this one has appeared in phone messages and pictures on a murder victims phone.
A homeless woman falls to her death in front of a train and it seems that she was pushed – What’s more, the man in the grainy CCTV footage appears to be wearing a police jacket.
The Amsterdam police
Struggling with personal and professional relationships the insides of the police station reads like a who’s who of Amsterdam bad guys or bent coppers trying to beat each other to a promotion. This is no ordinary police team and the dynamics can be tricky at first.
The international Court of Human Rights
Rykel used to be in a relationship with Saskia, a lawyer and she is now involved in the prosecution of war criminals at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. One of these names is a well known Bosnian Serb leader by the name of Zamir Isovic. And so when Zamir escapes, more than hell breaks loose. This is a dangerous world they live in.
The rest of Amsterdam – nice….
As well as the gritty side of the city and its outskirts, we are also introduced to its more well known and pleasant locales. Take the Van Gogh museum for example and the many canals noted for their atmospheric walks. And the Anne Frank House is mentioned
But the overriding sense of this city here is one that most tourists don’t see – the drugs scene and not just the dodgy coffee shop culture but the more gritty and raw drugs trade such as the cannabis farm the police find out at Nieue West, an immigrant area west of the city. Or the trade of something else entirely at the glass fronted houses in the city centre’s red light district.
Amsterdam reveals itself in layers here, one dirty, regretful layer at a time. Amsterdam apparently also has the dubious honour of being Western Europe’s murder capital….