After the Silence by Jake Woodhouse
Published by Penguin
24th April 2014
A body is found hanging on a hook above the canals of Amsterdam's old town, a mobile phone forced into the victim's mouth.
In a remote coastal village, a doll lies in the ashes of a burnt-down house. But the couple who died in the fire had no children of their own. Did a little girl escape the blaze? And, if so, who is she and where is she now?
Inspector Jaap Rykel knows that he's hunting a clever and brutal murderer. Still grieving from the violent death of his last partner, Rykel must work alongside a junior out-of-town detective with her own demons to face, if he has any hope of stopping the killer from striking again.
Their investigation reveals two dark truths: everybody in this city harbours secrets - and hearing those secrets comes at a terrible price ...
After the Silence is the debut novel by Jake Woodhouse, and is the first in the Inspector Rykel series. Firstly a body is found hanging above the streets in Amsterdam, and then a couple are found burnt to death in their house. Are these crimes related? And what about the doll that is found lying inside the house - does that indicate that a child was there, and if so, where are they now?
Jake Woodhouse has written a page-turning crime novel in After the Silence. True, it's nothing that I haven't read a hundred times or more with any other crime book, but those occasions when something amazingly new crop up are rare now. What I will say is that this is the first crime series I've read that is set in Amsterdam and he does bring the city to life within the book.
Set over five days, the books follows Rykel and his colleagues Tanya van der Mark and Kees Terpstra as they try to solve these crimes. As with other police novels, each has their own agenda, and each has a past and a secret they don't want others to know about - except we, the reader, do know. I thought the characters were well created and the story was tight and believable. I want to know what happens to them next. Yes, I read a lot of crime fiction, but I happily think that I'll be reading the second book in the series when it is published. If you love crime novels too, and are looking for a new series to get your teeth into, this is as good a place as any to start!
Thanks also to everyone who entered my giveaway to win a copy of Someone Else's Skin by Sarah Hilary. I was overwhelmed by all who entered via here, my facebook page and over on twitter. The winner was Alyson Shipley (@houdsmum) and I'll be getting in touch with her in a minute to let her know! There will be more giveaways so, so if you didn't win, please keep trying!