A.C. Baantjer DeKok & the Death of a Clown Reviews

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A.C. Baantjer DeKok and the Death of a Clown
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“DeKok and the Death of a Clown ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 10/12/2005

DeKok and the Death of a Clown
A.C. Baantjer
Speck, Dec 2005, $14.00, 184 pp.
ISBN: 1933108037

In Amsterdam, fifty five year old real estate broker Julius Vlaanderen explains to Inspector DeKok that someone stole a million Euros worth of his jewelry collection, but the safe that contains them shows no evidence of a break-in, and only the owner and his lawyer have access. The only other person aware of the collection's location is the victim's son Maurice. Though he works homicide, DeKok tells his partner Dick Vledder they will investigate the jewelry theft since no murders are under review at this time.

However, before they can begin digging, DeKok and Vledder learn of a dead clown floating at nearby Crier's Tower. The victim has a knife obtruding from his back. Vledder immediately recognizes that the deceased is Pierrot a popular Dutch performer. As the cops investigate this murder and interrogate the members of the troupe that Pierrot belonged to, and to a lesser degree look into the Vlaanderen robbery, DeKok begins to see a link. Although Vledder insists there is no connecting of the dots, the senior Inspector wonders whether what he believes happened in both cases can be enough to uncover the identity of a clever killer.

The third translation of a DeKok Dutch police procedural (see DEKOK AND MURDER BY MELODY) is a fabulous tale that sub-genre fans will want to read in one delightful sitting. The storyline grips the audience from the moment the Inspector questions the Realtor about the theft, and never slows down until the final "butterfly" effect. DeKok is an excellent cop, while his partner and others bring out the best in the sleuth. This is must reading for fans who appreciate a strong European investigative tale.

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