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A detective on the edge. A case that might take him over it. Get ready for the gripping new Inspector Rykel thriller.

Jaap Rykel is on the brink, his dark past driving him to breaking point - and ending his police career.

Visiting the station one last time, he stumbles across an investigation into a particularly violent murder. A murder where the details exactly match a case he solved years earlier.

But that killer was caught - and is still in prison.

Is there a copycat killer on the loose, playing games with Rykel's fragile mind? Or did he get it wrong, and send an innocent man to prison?

This might be his last chance to make things right - or it could be the blow that finally takes him over the edge . . .

416 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 30, 2019

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About the author

Jake Woodhouse

9 books36 followers
Jake Woodhouse has worked as a musician, winemaker and entrepreneur. He now lives in London with his wife and their young gundog. After the Silence is the first book in his Amsterdam Quartet.

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5 stars
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54 (43%)
3 stars
25 (20%)
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6 (4%)
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Displaying 1 - 18 of 18 reviews
Profile Image for Lou (nonfiction fiend).
2,771 reviews1,624 followers
May 29, 2019
The Copycat is the fourth and final book in the Amsterdam Quartet featuring Inspector Jaap Rykel and is a wholly absorbing and satisfying conclusion to the series. For a police employee Rykel is in a complete mess which encompasses the entirety of both his personal and work life and is now affecting everything he does. He self-medicates with Cannabis due to PTSD and when he happens upon a murder scene that reminds him of a case he investigated and achieved a successful conviction for almost a decade ago he is shaken to the core. His anxiety levels jump through the roof and his nerves are frayed as he tries to cope with the sudden realisation that he might have put the wrong person away. This is the last thing he needs whilst determining whether to retire from the force for good.

This is an exciting, well written and totally gripping police procedural which I read in a single tension-filled sitting, staying up into the early hours of the morning to finish it — something I rarely do. It hooks you in with its engrossing and original plot, unique setting and excellent characterisation and also has some superb twists. Rykel, of course, is the central character and he is so very believable and relatable. He's a flawed man but most of us likely would be the same if we had seen the hellish scenes that he has; he is certainly a character I will miss. The Copycat is a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable crime novel which no doubt shows the very real repercussions of police work.

All in all, this is an action-packed read in which there is never a dull moment and comes highly recommended. Many thanks to Penguin - Michael Joseph for an ARC.
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,385 reviews977 followers
June 20, 2019
I'm late to the party on this one, it being the final novel in a quartet, yet the first I have read - it was an excellent and addictive read so I've just ordered the previous three...maybe I'll read in reverse order.

From the opening page I was compelled to just keep on reading, completing it in two sessions and completely immersed the entire time.

It was not a problem at all that I was arriving at the end of proceedings, Jake Woodhouse does an excellent job of giving you enough information without spoiling previous stories.

The Copy Cat is a terrific detective story with plenty of emotional layers, some edge of the seat moments and best of all it was entirely unpredictable. Loved it. Great writing great characters intelligent plotting.

Recommended. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
July 26, 2019
A dynamic, twisty and suspenseful conclusion to the Amsterdam Quartet with strong characterisation.

The Copycat is the fourth and final novel in the Amsterdam Quartet featuring Inspector Jaap Rykel of the Amsterdam Murder Squad and having followed this series since the outset I have found the overall quality of each instalment phenomenal. After a cliffhanger ending to the stunning third novel, Before The Dawn, this is another impressive police procedural with a strong vein of suspense running throughout and top-notch characterisation. Although Rykel’s own story has unfolded over the course of the series, the welcome news for new readers is that The Copycat works as a stand-alone and the Amsterdam setting, waterways and the country’s liberal stance on crime makes for a distinctive sense of place.

After eleven years in the police force, Inspector Jaap Rykel’s personal life and career are in freefall, having lost the love of his life in Tanya and about to make his leave of absence from work as he battles PTSD permanent and call time on a career which has consumed him. Finding sanctuary in a simpler life on his houseboat and self-medicating with cannabis he doubts anything could compel him to return to the police. However, a chance encounter with an old colleague and a split second sighting of a crime scene photo pulls him back to seven years ago, the brutal murder of judge’s daughter, Lucie Muller, and a case which he investigated. Having nailed the guilty man in Sander Klaasen and seen him incarcerated for a thirty year stretch where is still remains, the strikingly similar death pose of entrepreneur Marianne Kleine and the prospect that he could have sent an innocent man to jail lures him reluctantly back. And with Klaasen beaten to a pulp and mentally incapacitated on arrival in prison, the implications are far-reaching with Rykel’s own actions the impetus behind it.. could this really all be on his conscience?

As Rykel throws himself back into police work with abandon in his wish to rectify a possible series of wrongs, all triggered by his initial response to a murder seven years earlier, it plays havoc with his mental stability. Reopening the old case and working alongside the fresh murder of Marianne Kleine, he revisits a previous suspect and rigorously explores potential avenues in which the lives of the two victims might have crossed over and why the killer might have selected them. But why the seven year wait between murders?

The Copycat is fervently paced and fascinating throughout, and author Jake Woodhouse uses the first-person narrative of his conflicted and mature protagonist to make some thought-provoking observations on life, his police career and deliver an intelligent line in social commentary. Rykel is credibly flawed and his character well explored with his debilitating PTSD, vivid flashbacks and panic attacks realistically evoked. Handled with sensitivity and an intrinsic part of his character, the impact on his police work and day to day functioning is made painfully clear. He refers to his PTSD as the ‘black wolf’ and attributes much of its emergence due to dealing with the “results of others’ black wolves” (investigating murders) with his reliance on cannabis feeding the opposing white wolf and balancing out his demons.

The twists and dead ends makes for a truly absorbing read as the case threatens to once again push Rykel over the edge and into a crisis. As each consecutive line of inquiry is shut down and the killer remains on the loose, Rykel and his unofficial partner in acerbic and tenacious female Inspector Vermeer strike up an understanding rapport, and a race against time to ensure no other innocent people die ensues. But with Station Chief Beving monitoring Rykel closely and his delicate mental state threatening to be his undoing with periods of lost time, the possibility of Rykel being an unreliable narrator lingers with the man himself even worrying just what his subconscious might be doing.. The climax builds to a tense resolution and although I found the specifics of it a little too far-fetched to swallow, the rationale behind it is faultless and makes for a satisfying and fitting end to Inspector Jaap Rykel’s return.

Whatever the future holds for Jake Woodhouse I certainly hope it includes more novels of the calibre of those featuring troubled Jaap Rykel and this series of action packed and inventive police procedurals comes highly recommended.
Profile Image for Lou (nonfiction fiend).
2,771 reviews1,624 followers
May 29, 2019
The Copycat is the fourth and final book in the Amsterdam Quartet featuring Inspector Jaap Rykel and is a wholly absorbing and satisfying conclusion to the series. For a police employee Rykel is in a complete mess which encompasses the entirety of both his personal and work life and is now affecting everything he does. He self-medicates with Cannabis due to PTSD and when he happens upon a murder scene that reminds him of a case he investigated and achieved a successful conviction for almost a decade ago he is shaken to the core. His anxiety levels jump through the roof and his nerves are frayed as he tries to cope with the sudden realisation that he might have put the wrong person away. This is the last thing he needs whilst determining whether to retire from the force for good.

This is an exciting, well written and totally gripping police procedural which I read in a single tension-filled sitting, staying up into the early hours of the morning to finish it — something I rarely do. It hooks you in with its engrossing and original plot, unique setting and excellent characterisation and also has some superb twists. Rykel, of course, is the central character and he is so very believable and relatable. He's a flawed man but most of us likely would be the same if we had seen the hellish scenes that he has; he is certainly a character I will miss. The Copycat is a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable crime novel which no doubt shows the very real repercussions of police work.

All in all, this is an action-packed read in which there is never a dull moment and comes highly recommended. Many thanks to Penguin - Michael Joseph for an ARC.
2,794 reviews48 followers
May 26, 2019
I would like to thank Netgalley and Penguin UK - Michael Joseph for an advance copy of The Copycat, the fourth novel in the Amsterdam Quartet to feature Inspector Jaap Rykel.

Rykel is mulling over retirement from the police due to his PTSD when a chance glimpse of crime scene photos sets off alarm bells. Seven years ago his investigation into the murder of Lucie Muller ended in the conviction of Sander Klaasen for murder and now Marianne Kleine has been killed in the same way. Worried that he helped to convict an innocent man he gets involved in the current investigation.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Copycat which is an exciting, action packed novel with some great twists. The novel opens with a first person narrative of a man being held at gunpoint in the middle of a wood the segues back four days to explain over the course of the novel how he got into that situation. It was enough to capture my attention and pique my curiosity and Mr Woodhouse never lets up after that. There is never a dull moment as the novel oscillates between an event filled investigation and Rykel’s struggles with his PTSD which he refers to as his black wolf. I think the solution is ingenuous but highly improbable. Nevertheless it is a real bombshell when it comes and strangely apt. The motive behind it is far more believable and much less improbable, especially for the conspiracy theory minded.

Jaap Rykel is obviously a man under pressure. His PTSD is rampant and instead of taking his medication he self medicates frequently with cannabis. It seems to work for him but he, rather obviously, is unfit for work. This does not stop him from aggressively investigating the case and producing most of the leads and thinking. It is a good portrait of an unstable man with something to prove. He can be difficult to like at times but his adoption of his dog, Kush, and his love for him make it easier.

The Copycat is a good read which I have no hesitation in recommending.
Profile Image for Susan Hampson.
1,522 reviews55 followers
June 10, 2019
This is the fourth book in the Amsterdam Quartet so I am arriving a little late to this party but from the very first page, I was hooked. Set in Amsterdam Jaap Rykel finds himself facing all sorts of demons both from his personal struggles with PTSD to a new case that has landed at the police station that is identical to one he solved some years ago. This was already giving me that buzz when you know it is going to be a belter!
Now faced with a choice, to take retirement and walk away or make sure that the man serving time for the murder that he had arrested and the courts convicted really guilty?
Rykel has periods of time that disappear due to his PTSD and the only way he can control it a little is to smoke cannabis. When the dark side takes over him he sees it as a black wolf prowling ready to take over his mind, while in good clear moments the white wolf is in control. Rykel had always felt uneasy about this case, which surrounded the murder of a judge’s daughter.
The addition of an unexpected partner for Rykel, in the form of a stray dog called Kosh, they both really needed each other, a brilliant pairing of such oddballs. The deeper that Rykel digs and darker the story gets and the more unstable he becomes.
There are some shocking moments for Rykel as he retraces his steps of the previous case he handled and the consequences of the conviction afterward. This is a blistering read with solid characters. Fast-paced, scary, original and oh so very graphic. Already added the first three books to ‘must-reads’.
Profile Image for Jacob Collins.
754 reviews116 followers
June 4, 2019
The Copycat by Jake Woodhouse had such a chilling and gripping opening, it had me hooked right away, and I devoured the first hundred pages in one go. At the very start, Jake Woodhouse creates such an unnerving atmosphere, but before we know what the outcome is going to be, he takes us back in time to a few days earlier when things really start to go wrong for our lead character. We see a man under the control of a scary individual who has lead him deep into woods at gunpoint. After this point, we begin to get the full picture of just what is going on here.

This is a book which I found very difficult to put down, the pace flowed swiftly along, and I think this was down to the brilliant dialogue. When I first started reading it, I didn’t realise at first that it was the final book in this series, but I had no trouble at all in getting into the story. I really liked Jaap Rykel. He goes through a lot of emotions in this book, but he doesn’t allow anything to get in his way of seeing through the case he is working on. He certainly doesn’t care about risking his own reputation.

Jaap is at a sticky point in his career. He is a man living on the edge and it is driving him towards the end of his time in the police force. But as he takes the next step towards his retirement from the force, disturbing details about a new case emerges which takes him back to a dark time. A young woman has been found brutally murdered in a shocking way that puts the police in mind of an investigation that took place several years earlier which Jaap headed up. But Jaap caught the guy responsible, and he is in prison, serving a life sentence. Was it just possible that he made a mistake all those years ago and that the real killer is still out there? Or is someone else, a copycat, at large?

One thing which Jaap struggles with a lot is PTSD, and he often has blackouts and distressing visions. This was written in a very believable way, and it did create some intense moments in the story. In a way, this also makes him an unreliable narrator as when certain events take place, he isn’t sure if he wasn’t somehow involved. I felt for him a lot, especially when he began to consider the possibility that he made a mistake in the original investigation seven years previously and you can see just how much this affects him.

As the book progressed, I could begin to see the reasons why the perpetrator was killing their victims. But I also wanted to know what the outcome was going to be for Jaap after reading that opening scene, and this is what kept me on my toes and turning those pages.

This was a totally gripping book with very engaging writing. I can’t wait to read more from Jake Woodhouse, including catching up on the previous books in this series. I can highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Billie.
5,451 reviews61 followers
July 22, 2019
HE THOUGHT HE CAUGHT THE KILLER, BUT THEN THE KILLING DIDN'T STOP.
Jaap Rykel is on the brink, his dark past driving him to breaking point and ending his police career.
Visiting the station one last time, he stumbles across an investigation into a violent murder.
A murder where the details exactly match a case he solved years earlier.
But that killer was caught - and is still in prison.
Is there a copycat killer on the loose, playing games with Rykel's fragile mind? Or did he get it wrong, and send an innocent man to prison?
This might be his last chance to make things right, or it could be the blow that finally takes him over the edge . . .

The Copycat is the fourth and final book in the Amsterdam Quartet featuring Inspector Jaap Rykel.
This was wonderfully gripping and suspenseful read.
Really well written and had me hooked from the first page to the last one.
The characters are really well written and fleshed out and very relateable with their human flaws we all have.
The story was extremely well written and the plot was gripping. Very satisfying conclusion the series.
Recommend reading.

I would like to thank Netgalley and Penguin UK - Michael Joseph for the ARC. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Review copied to Amazon UK but link not yet available.
Profile Image for Stefan.
189 reviews36 followers
July 12, 2019
The finale of the Jaap Rykel series was every bit as good as the previous three books. Cannot say I am overly thrilled that there were only four books, but I understand the writer not wanting to have to continue to come up with story lines for his hapless Inspector.

Jaap is a complete and utter mess in this book. Suffering severely from PTSD, trying desperately to keep the black wolf at bay, and deciding to self-medicate with cannabis rather than his prescribed medication. As back luck would have it, he is pulled into a murder investigation that is all too familiar to him. Will he make it through this ordeal? Does he have the inner strength, willpower or perseverance to keep himself from going off the deep end? Will he be able to see this case though to the end, or will be done in by the killer, or worse, the black wolf?

Although I will miss Jaap, I will patiently wait to see what comes next from Mr. Woodhouse.
358 reviews3 followers
October 21, 2019
Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Like previous reviewers I did not realise that this was a culmination of the Amsterdam Quartet. After reading this book, however, with its taut plotting and well-drawn characters., I was not disappointed.. The lead character, Inspector Rykel, though flawed in the best tradItion of Crime Fiction, avoids becoming a trope. Woodhouse, in particular, takes the familiar plot of copycat or serial killer and fashions the story in an original way. I will certainly download the previous three novels in this series. Jake Woodhouse is a new author for me and I will certainly be looking out for his name when I next go book shopping.
Profile Image for Abby Slater- Fairbrother.
530 reviews29 followers
June 10, 2019
Inspector Jaap Rykel is a controversial police officer. He is recently retired due to a psychotic breakdown. He lives his life suffering flashbacks and within the firm grip of PTSD. When Inspector Arno Jansen contacts him for some assistance regarding a case, eerily similar to one previously worked on by Rykel…

‘Killing just to imitate another murderer indicates a special kind of warped mind’

The present case dealing with the murder of Marianne Kleine, draws comparison to the Lucie Muller case from Rykel’s past. Are the victim’s connected? And what does this mean for Lucie’s convicted murder, currently serving a 30yr prison term?

Lucie Muller’s case was high profile due to the nature of her murder and her father’s position within Dutch society. Her father Judge Muller is a tough and ruthless criminal Judge, taking little pity on those who end up in his courtroom. When Rykel begins to question his findings in the previous case. He not only questions did Sander Klaasen really commit murder? But was the speed from arrest to conviction just far too easy?

The title is a gritty police procedural dealing with the central theme of Rykel’s guilty conscious and search for redemption. It is a complex case and covers various concerts of Dutch law and political policies. The author cleverly describes (and explains) these aspects as you read along. 4*
Profile Image for Broganne.
88 reviews
January 26, 2022
So if I’m being honest this book put me in quite a reading slump. I don’t think you need to read the first few books in the series to know what is going on in this book it could also stand as a standalone bar a few of the characters.

All in all I’ve decided to give this book 2.5 stars; The writing is not awful and neither is the story I just found that from my particular reading style this book was quite slow paced and I should’ve looked into the writing style more before I decided to read it.

No way is this a bad book it just didn’t suit me but may interest many others who enjoy the crime and mystery genres.
252 reviews
July 17, 2019
Thank you Netgalley and publisher for the ARC of this book.

This is the first book I have read by Jake Woodhouse and I understand this is the fourth book in a series so that may be why I was a little confused. Jake is also a new authority for me

The book had me hooked from the start and I liked the main characters. The inspector suffers from stress, but is likeable. It is a good read and I would recommend. I would now like to read the first three and probably this one again to make sure I understand completely.

I would recommend. Also posted on Amazon
546 reviews
July 8, 2019
Maybe a 3.5 at best. Parts very good but parts too rambling and inconclusive. Story ok but not especially gripping and the concept of the druggy, PS-suffering cop just a bit cliched and too much of it. Not the calibre of Nesbo and Co but better than many.
300 reviews2 followers
July 1, 2019
Took a while for me to get into it - not a big fan of books that start in the future and work their way back. Good read though once you're into it
1 review1 follower
November 16, 2020
Would live to read the other books, accidentally started at the end 😂
Displaying 1 - 18 of 18 reviews

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