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Tuesday 13 February 2018

‘Death on the Canal’ by Anja De Jager

Published by Constable,
2 November 2017.
ISBN: 978-1-4721-2625-2 (HB)

Death on the Canal is the third book in the series featuring Lotte Meerman, a detective with the Amsterdam police.  When we first met her in in Death in Amsterdam she was traumatised by her previous investigation, which had resulted in her receiving a mixture of plaudits and notoriety.

Written in the first person, we find Lotte on a summer evening siting outside a cafe bar on the edge of the canal with heart thumping waiting to meet her former partner Mark Visser.  Conversation is stilted and before they can get onto more comfortable ground Lotte hears someone shouting for help and rushing to the sound finds a man stabbed.

The dead man is identified as Piotr Mazur, a Polish security guard at one of the city’s department stores.  He had earlier been sitting with a woman outside the bar not far from Lotte, but the woman is nowhere to be seen.

As Lotte investigates the death facts emerge that point to him being a small-time drug dealer, but Lotte after
several interviews with his colleagues is unconvinced.   Could his death tie in with the drug-related deaths of six tourists in Amsterdam?  Or could someone be setting Mazur up to take the fall?  And where is the woman who handed Mazur what to Lotte looked like a photo, then disappeared?

Lotte Meerman remains a tortured soul, following her actions to save the life of her friend and colleague.   If she is able to move on, maybe her personal life could improve, or maybe not.

As in the previous two books Anja De Jager spins a complicated web of lies and misdirection that kept me turning pages. 

Atmospheric and a compelling, this entry in the series is highly recommended.
Reviewer: Lizzie Sirett

Anja de Jager is a London-based native Dutch speaker who writes in English. She draws inspiration from cases that her father, a retired police detective, worked on in the Netherlands.
Currently she is working on another Lotte Meerman novel, The Murder’s Guide to the Family, which Constable will publish in 2016.

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