The series finale: 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.
‘The Harbour Master III: Ransom’ follows on from the cliff-hanger ending of book 2 ‘The Maze’. Henk wants to find out what has happened to Lottman, his only ally in the Dutch establishment. As we have come to expect, there are no easy passages for our off beat detective but he forges on regardless and soon begins to find there are some odd connections and strange alliances, which warrant further investigation.
The suspected kidnapping has uncomfortable parallels with Henk’s first case as a young policeman but are these real or imagined? The enigmatic Henk manages to get more answers than his enemies would like but it seems he is doomed to lose the war with the corrupt bureaucrats. Again the settings are vibrant and integral to the plot and there are many delightful minor characters that enhance this political thriller.
The author teases the reader with snippets of information and possible leads, giving the story its realistic edge. The conclusion ties up the immediate story in a satisfying way but there are still queries that need resolving and I am happy to see our intrepid detective will feature in another story in a different setting.
I received a copy of this story from the author in exchange for an honest review.
If you haven’t read the previous two stories you can buy them and the third book in The Harbour Master: The Collected Editions ( Book 1-3).
Check out my 5*reviews of the first two books by clicking on the covers:
Nick Thorneycroft is a British headhunter working in Luxembourg. His company asks him to recruit a high-flying executive for the company’s Russian business. The best candidate turns out to be smart, beautiful… and mysterious. Soon the effects of Russia’s political upheaval, and the arrival of an ex-girlfriend who won’t leave him alone, make Nick’s Luxembourg life increasingly perilous; worlds collide in this gripping, atmospheric tale.
‘The Candidate’ is an enthralling political thriller set in Luxembourg. Nick is a recruitment head hunter although in a previous life he enjoyed a successful career as a sports journalist.
Nick can’t remember what he did the previous night and his only clue is a piece of sexy underwear. An unexplained receipt, a distraught landlady and a missing dog all increase the suspense.
Nick needs his journalistic skills to unravel the mystery as these clues throw up new questions and worrying possibilities for Nick.
Tasked with head hunting an executive to manage key Russian and East European business Nick finds himself attracted to the high flyer and wonders if she is the key to his mystery.
The reappearance of his ex girlfriend coupled with work conflicts against a background of political unrest deepens the mystery.
Violence and political intrigue are intrinsic components of this story and the cleverly layered plot leaves subtle clues which all contribute to the satisfying ending.
Nick is a good character but I particularly liked the interesting support cast who make this is a worthwhile read.
I received a copy of this book from the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Check out my other reviews of Daniel’s books The Woman Who Stopped Traffic and his latest release The Harbour Master.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Maverick cop Henk van der Pol is thinking about retirement when he finds a woman’s body in Amsterdam Harbour. His detective instincts take over, even though it’s not his case. But Henk’s bigger challenge is deciding who his friends are – not to mention a vicious street pimp who is threatening Henk’s own family. As his search for the killer of the woman in Amsterdam Harbour takes him into a corrupt world of politics and power, Henk finds himself facing some murky moral choices.
The Harbour Master is a fast paced, suspenseful, political thriller set in Holland.
Henk is an experienced police officer based in the harbour district of Amsterdam. Contemplating retirement, partly due to the new regime at work his plans change when he discovers the body of a young woman floating in the harbour. Henk suspects foul play. Murder, prostitution and trafficking all feature in this story. A series of incidents makes him distrust his colleagues and superiors as vital evidence goes missing. Determined to find out why the girl died he circumvents policy and procedure and finds himself excluded from the case. Henk’s family is in danger as his career nosedives. Will the personal cost be too great?
Henk is a strong but flawed character but subtly so without the obvious peccadilloes commonly associated with cynical older detectives in fiction. The story is atmospheric and leaves the reader with a definite flavour of Holland. The Harbour Master is like the successful Scandinavian thrillers of the same ilk but for me this is superior because it avoids the drawn out nature of this type of thriller with a fast paced, twisty plot.
Henk and his wife a journalist make a formidable team. There is potential for more stories here. The depth of character development is impressive for a novella. The plot is interesting and dark but a page turner which I read in a one go.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Not my usual NetGalley read but this one attracted me and I wasn’t disappointed. Here’s what you can expect.
It’s the dawn of social media; Facebook is unknown and World of Warcraft is the world’s biggest online game. An unhinged Hungarian-American Internet magnate is trying to take over it all, using soon-to-IPO web sensation Clamor.us. But nefarious content is coming to light on the Clamor social networking site, pointing to sex trafficking.
Enter Natalie Chevalier, glamorous ex-Head of Security at a large Seattle software company… with a father she never knew, a disastrous track record with men and a scandal that forced her from her old job.
Part digital thriller, part dark fairy tale, The Woman Who Stopped Traffic will keep you on the edge of your seat – while revealing deeper truths of our times
The Woman Who Stopped Traffic is a clever, contemporary, fast-paced thriller with a realistic edge. This first chapter is pivotal to the events that unfold. Read it carefully to fully appreciate what follows.
After a work place affair led to a scandal Natalie Chevalier ditched her role as a corporate technology security expert in favour of the good life in the Bahamas meditating and teaching yoga.
Clamor.us a hugely popular social media site is about to float on the stock exchange. Natalie Chevalier accepts an invitation from Tom Nguyen geek scientist and former colleague and attends a presentation for potential investors. A serious security breach occurs during the presentation. Tom needs her help. Natalie agrees but will keen observational skills be enough to find the culprit?
The story is fast paced and complex moving through the world of high finance and technology in great detail. The characters in each of these worlds are well written and easy to visualise. A fantasy on-line role-playing game proves integral to the story and increases the suspense and impact of the plot. The detail of this story is amazing although I found the description of financial trading too detailed at times but I ‘m sure it will appeal to some.
The Woman Who Stopped Traffic is an inspired title. I found it an interesting and absorbing read. Natalie and Ben seem to have unfinished business. I can see them having further adventures together.
I received a copy of this book from the author via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars