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by Baantjer, translated by H.G. Smittenaar

Pub Date: March 30th, 2007
ISBN: 1-933108-07-X
Publisher: Speck Press/Fulcrum

A young man who’s been found with a stash of cocaine, 100,000 euros and the key to a Porsche unwillingly introduces laconic Inspector DeKok to his latest round of homicides.

At first it looks like a case for the vice cops. Casper Hoogwoud insists that the money strapped to his wrist is lawfully his, but the drugs he’s carrying tell another story. When he maintains that he’s not selling cocaine but only procuring it for his AIDS-stricken brother, DeKok and his sidekick, Inspector Dick Vledder, invite themselves to interview Marcel Hoogwoud, whom they find already dead of his illness. More deaths follow with Baantjer’s trademark swiftness, each followed by a phone call from a woman who announces, as in the case of the lawyer who met his quietus with a seven-iron outside his office long after hours: “Abbenes is dead, not because of your righteousness, but because of mine.” Why is the attorney wearing a necklace with the wrong astrological sign? What’s his connection to the banker and the surgeon who are also dispatched by the same golf club? And why does Casper Hoogwoud’s name keep coming up everywhere they look?

A rapid-fire retro puzzler whose expository dialogue is unmatched for velocity since the days of Perry Mason. Like other installments in this 60-part series (DeKok and Murder in Ecstasy, 1998, etc.), this one was a publishing phenomenon in the Netherlands.