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The King of the Rainy Country (Van Der Valk #6)

3.44  ·  Rating Details  ·  91 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
A Van der Valk Thriller - On a parched Spanish hillside, Van der Valk spills blood and splinters bone. A handsome millionaire is missing. A naked girl has disappeared with him. Van der Valk has the arduous task of finding out why and where they are. And some people would shoot him for trying.
Paperback, 167 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by House of Stratus (first published January 1st 1965)
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Henderson the Rain King by Saul BellowDifferent Seasons by Stephen KingKissing the Rain by Kevin BrooksThe House of Mirth by Edith WhartonThe Moonlight Palace by Liz Rosenberg
15th out of 56 books — 22 voters
Love in Amsterdam by Nicolas FreelingThe Harbour Master by Daniel PembreyZeezicht by Linda van RijnHittegolf by Suzanne VermeerThe King of the Rainy Country by Nicolas Freeling
Best Dutch Thrillers
4th out of 48 books — 3 voters

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Community Reviews

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Mar 03, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4 Extra:
A millionaire and a naked girl disappear. Can the Dutch sleuth find them? Nicholas Freeling's thriller stars Martin Jarvis.
Sep 05, 2007 Davis rated it really liked it
Freeling had a life as a chef and, during a jail sentence for demonstrating, wrote his first van der valk mystery. Later he killed off van der valk, had his wife fill in for a bit and then created Castang. He is gthe best of the European mystery writers (Yes even better than Simenon and van de Vettering).
Lukasz Pruski
Aug 29, 2015 Lukasz Pruski rated it really liked it
"Je suis comme le roi d'un pays pluvieux,
Riche, mais impuissant, jeune et pourtant très vieux, [...]"

("I am like the king of a rainy country:
Rich - and impotent: young - and very old",
(Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mal)

Another Freeling disappointment, luckily not a major one this time. "The King of the Rainy Country" (1966), the sixth entry in the celebrated Van der Valk series is quite a famous book: it won the prestigious Edgar Award for the Best Novel of 1967 from the Mystery Writers of America
A very different type of detective novel, I enjoyed the philosophising and somewhat negative attitude of the main character. I am slowly working my way through all the Van der Valk stories.
Sep 27, 2013 Col rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, f
This was the end of the story that had started 'Once upon a time, in a rainy country, there was a king...' The end had not happened in a rainy country, but on a bone-dry Spanish hillside, three hundred metres from where Van der Valk had left a lot of blood, some splintered bone, a few fragments of gut, and a ten-seventy-five Mauser rifle bullet.
No one had broken any laws. But a handsome, middle-aged millionaire had disappeared with a naked girl. And Van der Valk was given the
Mar 29, 2008 Nikki rated it liked it
Nicolas Freeling's THE KING OF A RAINY COUNTRY was the 1967 Edgar winner for Best Novel. I was already reading a lot of mysteries in 1966, and Freeling's name was familiar to me from library shelves, but for some reason I'd never picked one up. In this case, I think I will need to read at least one more of the Van der Valk books before I can figure out exactly what I think! So far, 6 out of 14 Edgar winners have been series books, if you count Ed Lacy's ROOM TO SWING (he wrote a sequel many year ...more
Jun 04, 2013 Jon rated it it was ok
A slim novel whose one claim to fame is winning the Edger Award for best mystery in 1967. The book follows Van Der Valk, a Dutch police inspector, who is ordered by his superiors to find a missing millionaire. There is little here that is mysterious and the thin plot is driven by some unbelievable coincidences instead of detailed police procedural. For example, during a phone conversation, a colleague in Germany mentions a missing person case he is working on. It seems that a 17 year old girl ha ...more
Mar 04, 2015 Bettie☯ rated it liked it
Recommends it for: BBC Radio Listeners
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 17, 2014 Mikee rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
The New York Times loved it. The TLS loved it. I didn't like it. Too complex. Too convoluted. Too neat. I will take van der Wetering any day.
Sean Brennan
Aug 28, 2014 Sean Brennan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
A good Very European crime novel, nicely paced, highly enjoyable plot and at times quite insightful. Nice.
Bernard Norcott-mahany
This book won the Edgar, so I figured it was a safe bet for my introduction to Freling. Freling's detective upbraids himself with being a dull methodical Dutchman -- the novel read as something that would feature a dull methodical Dutchman. There was some interesting material in the last few pages, but it was not enough.
Jun 01, 2011 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-british
Not the greatest mystery I've read, but it was interesting enough to keep me going. Ultimately I liked it. I don't know if I'll read any other van der Valk mysteries, but I'm glad I read this one.
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Nicolas Freeling born Nicolas Davidson, (March 3, 1927 - July 20, 2003) was a British crime novelist, best known as the author of the Van der Valk series of detective novels which were adapted for transmission on the British ITV network by Thames Television during the 1970s.

Freeling was born in London, but travelled widely, and ended his life at his long-standing home at Grandfontaine to the west
More about Nicolas Freeling...

Other Books in the Series

Van Der Valk (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Love in Amsterdam
  • Because of the Cats
  • Gun Before Butter
  • Double-Barrel
  • Criminal Conversation
  • Strike Out Where Not Applicable
  • Tsing Boum
  • The Lovely Ladies
  • Auprès de ma blonde
  • The Widow

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