review by Maryom
At first there doesn't seem to be anything odd about the latest job for ex-policeman turned private eye Maarten Verlangen; there's nothing at all unusual about a woman wanting her husband's movements tracked. But the husband in question, Jaan G Hennan, turns out to be someone that, back in his police force days, Verlangen helped put in jail..... and then the wife, Barbara, is found dead at the bottom of an empty swimming pool. The obvious suspect is her husband - but Verlangen can give him a water-tight alibi.
Chief Inspector Van Veeteren has encountered 'G' Hennan before and believes he must be behind the death, but despite his best efforts, Van Veeteren can't find any evidence that will hold up in court.
Fifteen years later and Van Veeteren is now retired - well, theoretically - and the G File, as Barbara Hennan's murder has become known, is the only case he's never solved. The case has continued to bug Verlangen too, but then he disappears, leaving behind a message saying he's at last found proof of G's guilt....and Van Veeteren finds himself pulled back out of retirement...
I'm come to this series the absolute wrong way round - starting with the last book. Needless to say there was a lot about the characters that I didn't understand, but the author managed to fill in enough back story to not leave me totally in the dark, without, hopefully, taking away all enjoyment from previous books.
To me, this seemed to be a story as much about the character development of Van Veeteren as about murder-mystery solving - and as such a good, though lengthy read. The 'detection' though sadly let it down. Van Veeteren and Verlangen ignored something really obvious that occurred to me, and which held the clue to how the murder had been pulled off.
Maryom's review - 4 stars
Publisher - Mantle (Panmacmillan)
Genre - adult, murder mystery