Wednesday, January 02, 2019

The Grijpstra & De Gier Mystery Series

Last year I picked up two entries in the Dutch Grijpstra & De Gier mystery series at my favorite used bookstore. I knew nothing of these police detective books but was intrigued because both of them were written in the 1970's. I've occasionally read foreign mysteries of note and usually enjoyed them so it felt good to grab something up with no foreknowledge except that the books must have been successful. After all, the info inside the front cover listed at least ten other titles in the run.

I'm working my way through what appears to have been the fifth in the series 'The Japanese Corpse' and it is delightful. I know I'm reading a translation but the prose is beautiful. Author Janwillem van de Wetering's way with description is wonderful painting a vibrant image in my head that carries real heft and emotion. He takes the time to give even brief scenes flair and small characters a depth that makes the entire investigation fascinating. Two characters spend a great deal of time in Japan posing as Dutch criminals so we are also treated to a bit of history between the two countries I was unaware of until now. All of this is done smoothly and with smart wit. I consider this writer a real find! I can't wait to finish this one and rush on to the other I picked up next.

A little digging shows me that in 1979 a film was made from the first of the series! It is well thought of and stars Rutger Hauer as DeGier. And it seems to be available to stream on Amazon Prime under the title FATAL ERROR! This is extremely exciting. I'll have to watch this soon. There was also a television series made of the books that lasted from 2004 to 2007 producing 46 episodes in total. I will have to check that out as well, if I can find an English friendly option. Now, back to the book!

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