Woodhouse bases his debut crime novel mainly in Amsterdam and seems to manage to encompass all of the most grisly criminal acts you can imagine. The story progresses through murder, arson, kidnapping, child abuse and a few others along the way. The main characters have their own ways of coping with the stresses of dealing with such cases and also their own personal conflicts to deal with.
Inspector Rykel must investigate a bizarre and brutal murder but is troubled by the recent unsolved death of his Police partner. His investigations connect to an arson attack outside of his area where two people were burnt to death but leaving behind clues about a little girl, whose existence and current whereabouts is unknown. Working with a Junior Detective from this case they start to uncover a gruesome trail of trafficking, child abuse and pornography, with some unwanted links to Rykel’s partners’ death and obstructive colleagues, this is looking at becoming one of the most demanding cases Rykel has ever worked on.
Despite the awful nature of the crimes this is a not a depressing read – it is compelling and absorbing and a real treat for crime thriller fans.
Perhaps because I am unfamiliar with the Dutch language, I found the unusual names sometimes difficult to remember but this didn’t detract from the story and the principle characters were fluid and well written. I am sure a following of the forthcoming Inspector Rykel series (apparently there are three more due) would cure any language problems and I, for one, am sure to become a committed fan.
BookShelfElf says 3.5 Bacon Butties!
Authors Website: http://www.jakewoodhouse.com/index.html
Advanced copy kindly provided by http://www.lovereading.co.uk/