What the blurb says: “In the latest Harbour Master story, maverick Amsterdam cop Henk van der Pol roves further afield, to Rotterdam, Antwerp and Brussels – investigating a maze-like set of cases involving diamonds, fine art, drugs and high-class prostitution. What connects the cases, and what risks must Henk run to uncover the criminals? Impeding him is his rival and boss Joost, who has an equal but quite separate interest in the investigation’s outcome. Upon discovering the connection between the cases, Henk must confront challenges at a higher and more dangerous level of the Dutch state.”
The Maze is the second story in Daniel Pembrey’s popular Harbour Master II novella series, and the first in the series that I’ve read.
It’s also the first crime book with a Dutch detective lead character that I’ve read in a very long time and I really enjoyed reading a story set in different cities to those I often read about.
Henk van der Pol makes for a great lead character – he’s strong willed, courageous and determined to unravel the cases he encounters and serve justice – no matter how complicated they might be. Which is good, because The Maze sees him challenged by a spate of seemingly unrelated cases. As Henk digs deeper into the evidence he begins to see a pattern, but encounters trouble and obstruction where he least expects it – within the police service. As he connects the cases, and sees the potential political implications, he has to call in favours from those in his past in order to bring those responsible to justice – and to stay alive.
Henk’s wife, Pernilla, and daughter, Nadia, feature strongly within the story as Henk tries to balance his family responsibilities with his work and his wife becomes anxious as their daughter becomes increasingly distant. As the investigation takes him from Amsterdam to Rotterdam, Antwerp and Brussels, and his wife becomes increasingly concerned, Henk is torn between his competing priorities.
A fast paced, page-turner of a story – this crime thriller a fabulous read. At 108 pages it’s perfect to read in one sitting on a lazy Sunday afternoon or a long train ride, or to enjoy in daily instalments.
To find out more about Daniel Pembrey’s books hop on over to his website at http://danielpembrey.com/books/
You can also follow him on Twitter @DPemb
[many thanks to Daniel Pembrey for my copy of The Maze]