Now that his wife, deputy public prosecutor Hannelore Martens, is pregnant, Bruges’ Inspector Pieter Van In can stop skirt-chasing and settle down to what he does best: antagonizing the powers that be.
Hugo and Leen Vermast haven’t owned the Love farm for nearly long enough to have been responsible for the 30-year-old skeleton their daughter found while she was digging. It’s much more likely that Lodewijk Vandaele, the wealthy pedophile who donated the property to the charitable organization Helping Our Own long before the Vermasts bought it through real estate agent Benedict Vervoort, knows something about it. But Vandaele isn’t talking, and he’s much too well-connected to be forced to talk. Besides, as Van In points out, “Only an imbecile would sell property knowing there was a corpse under the grass.” So despite his fondness for afflicting the comfortable, Van In is forced to look elsewhere for the killer of the unknown victim. Luckily, he hasn’t far to look. Sgt. Guido Versavel soon learns that the Love served for years as a brothel for an exclusive clientele with exotic tastes, and Van In links the Love to foreign affairs minister Johan Brys, criminal attorney Yves Provoost, police physician Alexander De Jaegher, Benedict Vervoort, and of course Lodewijk Vandaele. As Vandaele races to neutralize a key witness who’s fled the country, Van In plots to set a trap by sending rookie police officer Carine Neels to work undercover. Things don’t go as planned, and the wrap-up is both predictable and messy.
Van In’s third features less of his complicated domestic life (The Midas Murders, 2013, etc.) and more head butting with higher-ups. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.