444th out of 484 books — 607 voters
Hard Rain (Grijpstra & de Gier Mystery #11)
In an attempt to solve the mysterious death of a wealthy banker, the Amsterdam Murder Brigade finds itself outside the limits of the law, using computer-based espionage and the risky influence of friends.
Paperback, 313 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Soho Crime
(first published 1985)
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Sometimes it's hard to write a review of a book because there is no way to summarize what you have just read. van de Wetering writes (or wrote, he died in 2008) what he called 'zen mysteries'. Since Zen itself is a mystery, sometimes the books are an exercise in 'anarchy'. That is nothing and everything goes on at once.
Grijpstra and de Gier and the commissari, with considerable aid, take down a corrupt and murdering banker from the commissari's past. A cast of wonderful characters, aside from the villain, and A-team like antics. That is harsh because while the plot is over the top and the mystery not mysterious, the dialogue and the characters are a real delight as always.
This may be the best of Grijpstra & de Grier yet and that's saying something as they're a huge hit in Europe and translating (pun intended) well into the United States. Something about the fast-paced action combined with the vague zen-like mentality of our heroes makes for a bang-up, best-seller equation. Here it's the good guys all alone and warned off the case on top of everything else, but someone must save the day. You know who! Read it! Get out of your own head a little!
Of the three books by this author I have read this was the weakest. The police characters are far to flippant and unfocused and the book generally had a scattered narrative. Ultimately we listen in on the Van de Wetering philosophy which left the main characters on different sides of the same coin. I simply found the literary devices employed tiresome. Maybe this book suffered from poor translation. Not his best.
The detectives of the Amsterdam murder brigade have to work while they are all suspended. 10 corpses and a huge amount of in-fighting in the service. This seemed like the last book. I really liked this one.