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by A. C. Baantjer
Speck Press, November 2007
189 pages
ISBN: 1933108134

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

AC Baantjer is a popular author in The Netherlands with his stories featuring Inspector DeKok (“that is with a Kay-Oh-Kay”) investigating what at first appear to be mundane tasks before taking a different turn. This latest entry in this long-running series is no exception.

In this rather short novel, Inspector DeKok and his friend and partner Vledder attend a funeral in Belgium as part of an investigation when DeKok notices a wanted man who had been declared dead over 12 years ago.

Ronald Kruisberg has been suspected of numerous frauds in The Netherlands and he managed to escape police apprehension. Two years later, he had apparently died in a traffic accident in Antwerp, Belgium. DeKok knows what he saw and tries to do his own investigation as to Kruisberg's whereabouts.

It is not until halfway through the investigation that DeKok realizes that Kruisberg is only the tip of the iceberg involving some conspiracy. DeKok may not have actual jurisdiction to do a police investigation in Belgium, but that doesn’t seem to stop him. He is persistent and he knows where to look for answers. It is clear why this character is popular among Baantjer fans. DeKok acts like an ordinary character and does not do anything that is not believable.

DeKok is now getting wider attention as Baantjer’s books are being translated into English and being distributed around the world. The book is an easy read even though the author did not spend too much time in creating a background exposition to what the Inspector is going to be investigating. At the end of Chapter One, what you see (or read) is what you get. Readers just have to catch up as he does his case. The clues slot together neatly until the final denouement.

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, January 2008

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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