by Pieter Aspe
I was ready for a fun, light-hearted mystery. This new book from Belgium certainly fit that bill. Mr. Aspe has written quite a few books in Flemish, but this is the first translated to English and available here.
This book has a lot going for it. The two main characters, Inspector Pieter Van In and the new Deputy public prosecutor Hannelore Martens, are both fun and funny investigators. They rush all over Bruges talking to people and picking up clues trying to figure out why someone would break into Ghislain Degroof, Jr’s jewelry shop and not steal anything. They just dropped all of the custom jewelry into an aquarium filled with a mixture of acid that would dissolve and destroy the fine custom works. The chief commission De Kee tells Van In that he doesn’t really want him to solve this case, just go though the motions, and file the police report. Something is mighty fishy here.
Mr. Aspe treats us to a fun look into a looser, more laid back, type of police force in Bruges, Belgium. This book has the feel of a BBC or some other European TV series. There is a bunch of humorous dialog, kind of usual interviews and meetings held in bars, restaurants or private homes where the police never hesitate to have a few drinks, along with a sexy feel to the pair of investigators, that make this book loads of fun. The translation is very good. You never feel like the writing is stilted, you just have to deal with the unfamiliar names, places and activities, since this story does take place in and around Bruges, Belgium.
I really enjoyed this book and I give it 4 1/2 stars out of 5 and a Big Thumbs Up. If you like lighter mysteries set in foreign lands this is a book that you will enjoy too. I hope to see more of Mr. Aspe’s works translated to English and available here soon.
I received this book for free from NetGalley.com.
Publication Date: June 1, 2013 | Series: Inspector Van In Mysteries
An ancient family name hides sinister secrets of love and betrayal, riches and revenge in the heart-pounding English-language debut by Pieter Aspe.
The beautiful medieval architecture of Bruges belies the dark longings of her residents. When the wealthy and powerful Ludovic Degroof’s jewelry store is broken into, nothing is stolen, but the jewels have been dissolved in jars if aqua regia, an acid so strong it can even melt gold. In the empty safe is a scrap of paper on which a strange square has been drawn. At first, Inspector Van In pays little attention to the paper, focusing on the bizarre nature of the burglary. But when Degroof’s offspring also receive letters with this same square, Van In and the beautiful new DA Hannelore Martens find themselves unraveling a complex web of enigmatic Latin phrase and a baroness’ fallen family and Degroof’s relationship with a hostage grandchild, ransomed for a priceless collection of art.
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Pegasus; 1 edition (June 1, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.3 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
About the Author
Pieter Aspe is the author of a series detective stories starring inspector Van In. The Square of Revenge is the first novel to be translated into English. Pieter lives in Bruges, Belgium, and is one of the most popular writers contemporary writers in the Flemish language.
The book description is from Amazon. The Square of Revenge: An Inspector Van In Novel