It’s not often that I can stay up late reading a book, my body / mind can’t cope and I fall asleep, however over the last week I’ve been staying up, turning the pages of David Hewson‘s new book. The House of Dolls is set in the Dutch city of Amsterdam, where it’s main character Pieter Vos lives on a houseboat. Vos is a former police detective, who left the job following the kidnapping of his daughter Anneliese. He’s dragged back to his former life by another kidnapping that has similarities to the kidnapping of his daughter.
Why has this book kept me away from slumber? Well the simple answer is that I had to know what was going to happen next. The book is one of short chapters, and this keeps the story moving between characters and actions at a tireless pace, breaking the story up just enough to keep the suspense tight and the reader wanting to know what’s happening.
The characters are varied, many with their own flaws and weaknesses, but some you will like and others come to detest. There’s “old-school” gangsters mixed with new generation cops, politicians and journalists in the mould of the ladder-climbing kind and backgrounds of tourists and café owners.
The story is very believable, it sits in the present and although as far as I could tell doesn’t actually draw on a current or recent situation, it could quite easily. You could imagine that any of the crimes or motivations of the characters are being drawn from real-life and that marks the success of this author. His characters, locations and situations are all true to life. They could easily be where, when and how; today, this week or next, and you’d not be able to tell fact from fiction.
If you’ve read any of David’s books before, particularly if you’re familiar with his Nic Costa series, then you’re really going to enjoy The House of Dolls.
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars – I Loved It.