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As of 28 February 2016, due to decline in my health and chronic illness

Monday, July 13, 2015

Review: FROM BRUGES WITH LOVE by Pieter Aspe

Release July 7 2015

Review: FROM BRUGES WITH LOVE by Pieter Aspe

As many hundreds of mysteries I've read, set in the U.S., Canada, the UK,  Scandinavia, France, Germany, Austria, and Venice, I believe FROM BRUGES WITH LOVE is the very first set in Belgium. So the entire backdrop is new to me, as is the police and prosecutorial protocol. Yet the book is well-written, with subtle wry humour, very entertaining and a pleasure to read . I am reminded of that trite declaration, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." In this case, what happened 30 years ago was expected to stay concealed, especially with the fulcrum of wealth. But the truth will eventually out, and Inspector Van In, his deputy prosecutor wife, and his trusty second, Versavel, are determined to make it so. Leavened with Van In's edgy personality, his wife's pregnancy, and the likable Versavel, pages almost turn themselves.

Behind the glamorous facade of elite Belgian society lies a seedy world unseen by the public eye—but nothing stays hidden forever 

Inspector Pieter Van In is begrudgingly finishing up a healthy lunch when he hears the news: While restoring their farmhouse, the Vermasts have found a skeleton in the backyard. Van In, who happens to be married to the deputy public prosecutor, is determined to solve the case in double-quick time and squeeze in one last vacation before the birth of his first child.

But this murder is trickier than it looks, and Van In soon finds himself in murky waters. The Vermasts' land belonged to the most prominent businessman in West Flanders before it was suddenly handed over to a right-wing charity. The heavily endowed foundation appears to have no expenditures or investments. So who's financing it—and why?

Before he knows it, Van In finds himself in the middle of a complex web—one that involves high-level officials, local law enforcement, and common thugs. The harder he tries to unravel the thread, the more difficult it becomes to uncover the secrets that the charity's benefactors are trying to hide. This time Van In will have to risk lives to find out the truth.

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