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Outsider in Amsterdam (Amsterdam Cops) Paperback – July 16, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
Two mysteries starring quirky detectives Grijpstra and de Gier, the first of van de Wetering's celebrated Amsterdam crime series, launch the trade paperback Soho Crime series.
Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Praise for Janwillem van de Wetering
"Mr. Van de Wetering's policemen are just as likely to . . . marvel at human nature as to shoot it down."
—The New York Times
"A superb storyteller."
"A superlative mystery writer."
"What makes this series so engaging is that the policemen are as quirky and complicated as the criminals"
—The Washington Post
"[Van de Wetering] is doing what Simenon might have done if Albert Camus had sublet his skull."
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This novel is as old as me and, even if it's a little old-fashioned, it's still fresh. I loved seeing how detectives solved crimes before cell phones and computers. I got a kick out of its sense of humor and the weirdness that permeates the story and writing. "Portly, wise Gripstra and handsome, contemplative de Gier" have such a rapport that it's hard not to like them. The mystery surprised me, even if it doesn't have a shocking twist or an unexpected revelation: it's just coppers doing their job and following the clues until they get their baddie. Or will they? All cat lovers will love de Gier, who will give up a girl before even considering getting rid of his cat (Oliver - a character all on his own). Just a word of warning to politically correct nazis, this was written in 1975 so some of the terms used to refer to women and minorities actually shocked me (and I consider myself pretty open minded). To all lovers of crime fiction, you need to get to know these laid-backed detectives.
The investigation quickly delves into the society itself, especially its finances, and no one is surprised that it looks like there is more going on than what is perceived. And then there is the former police officer, now a traffic warden in Amsterdam, who lives at the Hindist Society but is not an employee nor a member... How is he involved?
While I enjoyed reading this book by Janwillem van de Watering, I have to say that there was something off and it may be just a matter of the translator. The conversations between the two main characters didn't always ring true and in a way, it made them seem a bit less professional — very contemplative. And the ending is very abrupt. But the mystery and how they went about solving the case worked well.
As a crime novel the plot worked quite well with a variety of suspicious characters that keep the reader in suspense as to who in fact committed the act that is being investigated.
Overall I thought this was a very good read and I will return to the series and read more about these two fictional detectives.
It basically is a police procedural, but mostly is a relaxed wandering by two policemen who manage somehow to solve a crime.
There is a faint wry humor, quite a bit of philosophy, and much about the country of Holland.
The crime is solved, little sex, little bloodshed, and a nice feeling about it all.