argo Winch: The Dutch Connection (Francq / Van Hammer) is the third collection of the Largo Winch series to be published in English by Cinebook. Like the two before it (and the zillion to follow), it contains one story arc, broken in half at the moment of greatest tension.
Largo Winch is a billionaire playboy, owner of the globe-spanning 'W' corporation. He's good with knives, the ladies and handling threats (however unconventional) to his business empire. The Largo Winch series is never high art. Winch leaps around the world like a crazed salmon, shagging the ladyfolk and stabbing his enemies. The adventures are punctuated by slapstick humor, but, underneath the boobs and the blades, the stories are surprisingly good mysteries with an affable, enjoyable lead character.
The Dutch Connection is the weakest story so far, and it overcompensates with extra breasts and slapstick. Someone is using Largo's business empire to shuttle heroin around the world. The cops think it is Largo, so he's forced to go rogue to find out who the real bad guy is. There's action a-plenty, but unlike the other stories, there's very little mystery or intrigue. The bulk of the story is told via lengthy exposition (huge blocks of text). Largo's cunning plans and sneaky surprises - which are normally more 'open' with the reader - take place with no forewarning (however subtle). The result is a very linear story that doesn't engage the reader to the same degree as the first two collections. The series has dipped from a Showtime series to a Cinemax action flick. With book 4, we'll see if the trend reverses itself.