AMSTERDAM NOIR, PART III: A powerful Dutch politician is hijacked, bearing uncanny parallels with the 1983 kidnapping of beer tycoon Freddy Heineken. Maverick cop Henk van der Pol, who worked on the Heineken case at the start of his career, is soon operating outside of the official investigation. In trying to solve the latest kidnapping, Henk himself becomes imprisoned, and, with rival cop Joost emerging as the winner between them, Henk must navigate dark currents at the highest levels of Dutch society.
"Pembrey is a master of short form fiction. His snappy dialogue, tight plots and varied European settings guarantee a fast, enjoyable read that is hard to put down."
Paul Pilkington, author of the bestselling Emma Holden series (Hodder & Stoughton)
Ransom is the third Henk van der Pol – Harbour Master book. Henk, our investigator and main focus again gets involved in a case where he has no official jurisdiction – the kidnapping of Rem Lottman.
Hard-headed, but conscientious, van der Pol’s nose for trouble sees him again putting police work ahead of family, to the chagrin of his wife who still has the hope that as a couple they can become closer to their partly estranged daughter. That Henk, in-between excursions to Belgium and Norway briefly suspects their daughter’s Russian boyfriend in involvement in the kidnapping, may put pay to that particular wish.
At loggerheads with his boss, Joost and both with secrets that they want to hide; van der Pol still manipulates his team to do some digging on his behalf. Answers more important than self-preservation or a duty of care towards his charges.
More moonlighting……an interview with Rem’s girlfriend, harassing Lottman’s mother, annoying his Belgium counterparts……..Henk ends up in The Hague and the Dutch energy minister’s office.
The case remains unsolved – officially, but Henk has a few answers and a new job offer.
Interesting – as always, Pembrey again gives a fast-paced narrative that touches on politicians and corruption, rather than action on the mean streets of Amsterdam. I’m looking forward to crossing paths with van der Pol in his new job, when the author serves up his fourth episode.
4 from 5
Book 1 – The Harbour Master was reviewed here.
Book 2 – The Maze was reviewed here.
Author and crime fiction blogger extraordinaire, Margot Kinberg put the spotlight on the van der Pol series here.
I purchased a kindle copy of Ransom, though the author was kind enough to send me a copy of collected edition of all three episodes in print.