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The House of Dolls Audio Download – Unabridged

4.1 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 12 hours and 33 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 10 April 2014
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JA3DCF8

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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By Elaine Tomasso TOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 Sept. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really liked Mr Hewson's Nic Costa series so I thought I'd try this new series. The House Of Dolls is a police procedural set in Amsterdam, the Venice of the North, so a small Italian connection but that's it for similarities between the two series. Pieter Vos retired from the police with burnout 3 years before current events when he failed to find out what happened to his daughter, Annaliese who suddenly disappeared. He suspects she was kidnapped and killed because he was sent a porcelain doll with Annaliese's blood and hair on it. Now Katja Prins has disappeared and a doll has been left. De Groot, Vos's former boss, wants him on the case as does his ex partner, Eliesabeth, who is now Katja's stepmother. Please keep up because it starts to get complicated after this with more bodies, politics, blackmail, corruption and gang warfare to name a few twists.
I liked The House Of Dolls. It is a good, interesting read with plenty going on and I admire Mr Hewson's skill in weaving it all together into a logical narrative but I found it a bit disengaged in that I couldn't fully identify with the main characters and live the plot with them (my definition of a 5 star read). I think this may be down to the style of writing which keeps switching the narrative point of view but this is my only gripe. I liked the setting, Amsterdam comes alive in this book. I liked the plot which is properly grown up with a host of characters, motivations and connections and needs concentration but it is the realistic characterisation and dialogue where Mr Hewson really shines. Pieter Vos is a broken man.
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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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