timons (timons) wrote,

The Hollow-Eyed Angel

     The book I took to WPF Residency this June was Janwillem van de Wetering's penultimate Grijpstra & DeGier mystery novel, The Hollow-Eyed Angel. My review of the previous volume indicated that Grijpstra, DeGier and the commissaris had all retired, and that I found that the retirements undermined the nature of the series. Imagine my confusion when I started this book, and the commissaris is back on the payroll, though nearing retirement. And then I discovered that Grijpstra and DeGier were also still in the office.
     I don't know if van de Wetering was working on two novels at once, and published the second one first; or if he intended to end the series with the previous volume, and then decided to back up and do the book where the commissaris retires. In any case, this book precedes the other in time.
     It also follows the pattern of the other book in setting much of the story in the United States (New York City, in this case), rather than Amsterdam. The excuse is that the uncle of a volunteer policeman has been found dead under mysterious circumstances in Central Park. The local police have declared it an accident or suicide, and pushed it aside. The nephew thinks this needs investigation, and so he approaches the commissaris.
     The commissaris was set to attend a police convention in NYC anyway, so he decides to investigate. Complications ensue, involving four grimaces.
     I liked this book better than Just a Corpse at Twilight, as it seemed to adhere to the established nature of the main characters better. Turtle has a key role, which is also a positive.
     Sadly, I have only one more novel in the series to read (and Wikipedia tells me it follows Just a Corpse at Twilight chronologically, so everybody will be retired again) and then the short story collection The Amsterdam Cops. Another title in the series was announced before van de Wetering died, but it must not have been completed because all mention of it disappeared. I should probably, for interest's sake, write the estate and find out what happened to that.
Tags: detective, mystery, van de wetering

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