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The House of Dolls Hardcover – 10 Apr 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; Main Market Ed. edition (10 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447246144
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447246145
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 4.2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Dark and atmospheric with breathless pacing (Linwood Barclay A Tap at the Window)

When Hewson hits his stride it feels like you're being treated to a masterclass in crime writing. If you have a penchant for Euro-crime procedurals, The House of Dolls is an essential new series. (Crime Fiction Lover)

Book Description

Anneliese Vos, sixteen-year-old daughter of Amsterdam detective, Pieter Vos, disappeared three years ago in mysterious circumstances. Her distraught father's desperate search reveals nothing and results in his departure from the police force. Pieter now lives in a broken down houseboat in the colourful Amsterdam neighbourhood of the Jordaan. One day, while Vos is wasting time at the Rijksmuseum staring at a doll's house that seems to be connected in some way to the case, Laura Bakker, a misfit trainee detective from the provinces, visits him. She’s come to tell him that Katja Prins, daughter of an important local politician, has gone missing in circumstances similar to Anneliese. In the company of the intriguing and awkward Bakker Vos finds himself drawn back into the life of a detective. A life which he thought he had left behind. Hoping against hope that somewhere will lay a clue to the fate of Anneliese, the daughter he blames himself for losing . . . --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By O E J TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 April 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It appears that this is the first in a (planned) crime fiction series based in Amsterdam and featuring Detective Pieter Vos together with his rookie partner Laura Bakker. In this launch/pilot episode, a teenage girl and daughter of a leading city politician Wim Prins has gone missing. Vos has been living alone on a houseboat for a couple of years since retiring from the police force after failing to find his own daughter who disappeared under similar circumstances. Now the police chief appeals to Vos to help find Katja Prins. There are several other characters in the tale, including former 'don' and crime kingpin Theo Jansen, who has been in prison for such a long time that a former underworld rival has taken over most of his territory. There are horny ball-busting female politicians, ex-wives with big secrets, and all manner of corruption within both the law-enforcement and political powerbrokers. The story spans only a few days but dead bodies turn up quite regularly, and not always as a result of murder.

One of the underlying threads just beneath the surface of the story is an emotionally-scarred cop who has turned his back on the force (or maybe simply retired) and has no intention of returning. That's a rather well-worn premise, seen from authors such as Jo Nesbo, Mo Hayder, Ian Rankin and Simon Kernick to name but a few. Where House of Dolls is a cut above the rest in this particular regard is that Pieter Vos does not drop everything before the end of Chapter One and put his helmet back on. In this tale, he really is reluctant to go back and his apathy remains pretty much a constant throughout; if not for a personal involvement in the investigation he might not have gone back at all, even though he's barely 40 years old.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TripFiction on 18 May 2014
Format: Hardcover
In order to get a really authentic feel of Amsterdam, the author explored, and spent time in, Jordaan - a run down formerly working class district, where Pieter Vos (the key character of the drama) lives on a dilapidated houseboat with his fox terrier, Sam, for company. [Sam, incidentally, breaks a rule of Hewson's - never model a character on a real 'person' - Sam is modelled on his own fox terrier, Eddie... to whom the books is dedicated]. He experienced the rest of the city. Location is important to the book. In the edition I read, there is a map of Amsterdam with the key locations that feature in the book marked on it – and on Hewson’s website there is a much larger interactive map to play with. You really get the impression that he wants you to be a part of the place.

The book is an absolute cracker – combining (as did The Killing) both crime and political intrigue. It is stated to be the first in the Pieter Vos series, and the others are clearly going to be well worth waiting for. Pieter, an ex crime buster with the Amsterdam police force, ‘retired’ a few years back to live on his houseboat – shaken by the kidnapping, and apparent murder, of his own daughter… and by his frustration at being unable to solve the case. He is tracked down in the Rijksmuseum by Laura Bakker, a young trainee detective, who reports a copycat disappearance of Katja Prins – the daughter of Wim Prins, the leader of the city council… and key architect of a plan to crack down on the activities of De Wallen, the red light district. Pieter is brought back into the police (not to the joy of all…) to help solve Katja’s disappearance – a disappearance which her father believes may be a hoax to extract money from him (Katja is an addict with a history of scams).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tim from Surrey VINE VOICE on 19 Jun. 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The House of Dolls – David Hewson

David Hewson is a well known and respected author (“The Killing”), and this new book will simply add to his growing list of successes.

Unlike ‘The Killing’, this particular story is set in Amsterdam, and if you’re familiar with the city, the names of the streets makes it even more believable.

Pieter Vos was a very accomplished Detective with the Police in Amsterdam. But three years ago, his only daughter disappeared. Despite all the effort in investigating the disappearance, no clues, no trace, no body. VOS went off the rails, and resigned. For the next few years, he lived on a boat on the canal with his dog, Sam. He drank, smoked too much, and became quite dishevelled. His partner, who had refused to marry him, left and she later married a politician.

A girl, similar age to Vos’ own daughter has disappeared. Vos is contacted as the local Police want him to be involved in the investigation. They send a complete ‘misfit’ Police Officer to persuade him to return to work. Laura Bakker, is the Police Officer, who is about to be dismissed due to her lack of ability. She is a misfit, because of the way she dresses, her accent (she’s from the north of the country) and generally, no one likes her.

Vos, is persuaded to return to the Police – but just for the day.

The local leader of the criminal gang, is due to be released from prison (Theo Janssen). However, the day of his release, Vos has a meeting with him, and just as they are parting company, an assassination attempt takes place, and Janssen survives.

Janssen is returned to prison for his own safety, even though he is furious at this decision. He believes he will be absolutely fine in his city that he controls.
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