Sunday, October 8, 2023

REVIEW: The Corpse on the Dike: A Grijpstra & De Gier Mystery (book) by Janwillem van de Wetering

The Corpse on the Dike is a mystery, the third book in a series. I checked my copy out from the library.


A recluse who lived like a slob despite having a home crammed full of valuable antiques is found dead, shot between the eyes by someone with the skills of a professional marksman. The most likely suspect appears to be the man's lesbian neighbor, who may have been jealous of her beautiful housemate's interest in the man and who also had the skills necessary to pull off the shot.

This book wasn't a good fit for me at all. I don't know where I got the willpower necessary to finish it, but somehow I managed it.

It seems that this may have at least partly been a cultural issue - this excellent review on Goodreads explains how Grijpstra and De Gier's policing style incorporates the Dutch concept of gezelligheid. I could definitely tell that they had a more laid-back approach to policing than I expected, and I recall being intrigued by the negative way characters, even (especially?) police officers, responded to things phrased as orders.

That said, this book made for excruciatingly slow reading, and I couldn't bring myself to care about any of the characters (in fact, I had trouble remembering which one was Grijpstra and which one was De Gier most of the time). I haven't read the previous two books in the series, but I don't think that was as much of an issue as the characters' overall attitude. It probably didn't help that the way the various police characters leered at female witnesses made my skin crawl. The best part was when this hilariously backfired on De Gier and left him stranded without gas, stuck with an annoying child and a troublesome woman.

Not a series I plan on revisiting.

No comments:

Post a Comment