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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Square of Revenge by Pieter Aspe

The Square of Revenge is the first in a long series of novels by  Belgian author Pieter Aspe featuring Inspector Van In (originally published in 1995).  This is the first of his novels to be translated to English and, interestingly enough, given the penchant for beginning translations in the middle of a series, this translation begins with the first in the series.

I enjoyed the characters and the setting in Bruges.  Hannelore Martens, a newly appointed magistrate, is young, enthusiastic, and pretty.  She takes to Van In, a fortyish, shy fellow with lots of bad habits, and she insinuates herself into the investigation of a bizarre break in of a jewelry store.  The store is owned by a member of a prominent and influential family, and robbery is not the motive; instead, all of the priceless jewelry is destroyed in aqua regis, an acid mixture which can dissolve gold.  A brief message is left and a Templar's square.

Van In and his team, including Hannelore, believe that revenge is the motive.  They also believe that there will be more incidents.  And, indeed, there are.  Corruption and power accompany the DeGroof family, and Van In, after initially being told to drop the case, is then asked to return when the DeGroof grandson is kidnapped.  Secrets abound.

As this is the first in the series, I look forward to more in which the characters' relationships continue to develop and the time frame moves from the 1990's to the twenty-first century.

NetGalley/Open Road Media.

Police Procedural.  June 2013 (translation).  Print version:  336 pages.
  • ISBN-10: 1605984469

1 comment:

  1. I hate it when publishers translate books out of order! You are right, they never start with the first ones. Really must add this book to my list. I spent a week in Bruges several years ago - so beautiful. Hadn't heard about this series but I have to check it out.