I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.After the Silence by Jake Woodhouse
Series: Amsterdam Quartet #1
Published by Penguin on 24th April 2014
Genres: Crime, Fiction, Thriller
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...
I may not read the genre that often, but I do enjoy a good crime novel. Sadly, After the Silence is not one of these.
I picked it up initially because it was set in Amsterdam, and I’m always eager to read more books set in the Netherlands. However, the setting here is completely inconsequential: it could literally be set anywhere else in the world and it would make zero difference. We get some Dutch names, a few well-known locations in Amsterdam but otherwise you could just transport it anywhere else, which was a real shame. Not as much of a shame, however, as the absolutely atrocious characters that After the Silence contains, every single one a horrible, horrible stereotype:
- The main character is a cop who had a career changing tragic moment pre-book, which we get to see in badly timed flashbacks. Since then he left the force, went to Japan and ‘found himself’, and came back.
- The main female cop is constantly objectified by her colleagues, her soon to be boss makes lewd suggestions about how she might rise through the ranks and SHE DOES NOTHING ABOUT IT. This is so infuriating. She’s clearly a tough lady, judging by what she’s been through and what she does for a living, so why does she put up with this crap?
- There’s the cocaine addicted, homophobic, racist and misogynistic cop who I’m supposed to somehow feel sorry for?? Er, no. No thanks.
- Literally every policeman (and I say man, because Tanya is the ONLY female cop in the Netherlands apparently) is racist and homophobic and misogynistic and it made me SO ANGRY.
I can’t even really comment too much on what happens. It wasn’t a particularly special crime novel, there were no stunning twists or big reveals, and I was mostly just distracted by how disgusting these characters were, these people who were meant to be protecting society. And if it’s not bad enough, of course Jaap and Tanya hook up, because how on earth could a male and female cop work together without that happening? I spent the entire duration of this book feeling very angry, and the only positive was that it was at least quick to read, and needless to say I won’t be searching out the next one in the series.