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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: 1967 Penguin. Appears unread. Very clean and tight. No creasing to spine.Pictorial soft covers have no wear. No inscription except name in f.e.p. corner.Pages tanned as expected.
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Criminal conversation Hardcover – 1965

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (1965)
  • ASIN: B0000CMN15
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,603,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

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. A television series based on the character was produced for the British ITV network by Thames Television during the 1970s, and revived in the 1990s.

Freeling’s The King of the Rainy Country received a 1967 Edgar Award, from the Mystery Writers of America, for Best Novel. He also won the Gold Dagger of the Crime Writers’ Association, and France’s Grand Prix de Littérature Policière.
In 1968 his novel Love in Amsterdam was adapted as the film Amsterdam Affair directed by Gerry O’Hara and starring Wolfgang Kieling as Van Der Valk. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Absorbed & Distracted on 3 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
van der valk is not for everybody, but if you like something other than villains and bloodbaths, there's no writer more interesting. in this story v der v talks a murderer into giving himself away. the background is very relevant as it reveals the state ofmind of a man of a particular caste and time (and is also rather moving). freeling has no rival in evoking europe at a strange time in history, uncertain in its values, not yet rich again after the war, fullof quiet anxieties that build to murder. he was one of the finest crime writers - but granted, this won't be to everyone's taste.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I am not sure how I happened upon this book, but it sounded interesting (I may have been led there by Amazon after searching for some more Inspector Gently novels). A prominent businessman approaches Inspector Van der Valk on the quiet with the suggestion that a famous neurologist was responsible for the murder of an artist assumed to have died naturally. The first half of the book is related in the third person as Van der Valk goes about confirming what he has been led to believe. The second half of the book is related in the first person by the accused doctor.

I must say that I felt so empty after reading this book. It is quite old and is written with a richness which is rare these days. But as crime fiction it fails miserably as it is virtually bereft of plot. I kept thinking that going back to the doctor's childhood was going to introduce some relevance to the story but it didn't. The extensive filler material and slow pace drove me crazy. Had they yielded a twist, or developed the plot in some way, perhaps I would have understood, but they didn't.

In short, the writing was fantastic, but the book lacked the story many crime fiction readers would expect.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Unorthodox Dutch Detective Van der Valk manages to secure an unorthodox confession of murder 12 Sept. 2009
By A. Strauss - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Nicholas Freeling is unique in modern detective novelists. His Amsterdam detective, Piet Van der Valk, is very different. He has a French wife, Arlette, whom we only find out about as the series progresses. He is so unorthodox he has been passed over many times for promotion. For much of the series, because of his methods, he is relegated to special crimes (ie. those that are "sensitive" or "political") He moves slowly up the promotion ladder. He has a rude sense of humor. Ostensibly, the author is his friend, who was once imprisoned by the detective for a theft of food from the kitchen, in which the author worked at the time. Freeling's mysteries cover many topics. This one has to do with a psychiatrist who has committed a murder. The story revolves around how he manages to secure a confession from the doctor. It is a mesmerizing story.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Criminal Conversation 21 Oct. 2010
By pat bray - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent psychological study of the mentality of a killer and of the policeman who is investigating the killing. It focuses in a Dostoievsky-like way on the motivations of both. It is fascinating and absorbing reading.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Nicolas Freeling's Books are Old Friends 10 April 2013
By Eleanor Gehrung - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read all of Nicolas Freeling's books when they first came out - I think it was in the '70's.
If I read this before, I don't remember it so it was new to me. His books are quite cerebral and I enjoyed "going back" to Amsterdam.
A muddled mess 4 Jun. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mr. Freeling was a brilliant author, but this book lags again and again. The premise is unbelievably contrived and the progress of the plot left me turning pages unread.
Nicolas Freeling really understands what it means to be human. 15 Nov. 2013
By Dana S. Whaley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Marvelous mystery in an unusual format. As always, Nicolas Freeling writes mysteries that go beyond the apparent plot and explore the very human psyche. Highly recommend this one--I loved it.
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