Het vierkant van de wraak
Crime, Heist, Mystery
Pieter Van In, Book # 1
July 7, 2017 July 15, 2017
The beautiful medieval architecture of Bruges belies the dark longings of her residents. When the wealthy and powerful Ludovic Degroof's jewelry store is broken into, nothing is stolen, but the jewels have been dissolved in jars if aqua regia, an acid so strong it can even melt gold. In the empty safe is a scrap of paper on which a strange square has been drawn. At first, Inspector Van In pays little attention to the paper, focusing on the bizarre nature of the burglary. But when Degroof's offspring also receive letters with this same square, Van In and the beautiful new DA Hannelore Martens find themselves unraveling a complex web of enigmatic Latin phrase and a baroness' fallen family and Degroof's relationship with a hostage grandchild, ransomed for a priceless collection of art.
About the Book
This is the first book of Pieter Aspe’s book series featuring Inspector Van In. This is a very old book, published first in Belgium in 1995 (it still has Francs as currency, I couldn’t understand the money!) and translated in Italian in 2009 and in English in 2013.
In this book, Van In meets the Deputy Public Prosecutor Hannelore Martens and they investigate a robbery in a jewelry store owned by Ghislain Degroof, the son of the powerful and wealthy Ludovic Degroof. However, this is not the usual robbery, because the gold is dissolved in aqua regia and the details suggest a personal motive. When Ludovic Degroof’s grandson is kidnapped, the case gets more difficult.
At first I was like “why there are so many names starting with a “V”?”, so many that I couldn’t keep track so I focused only on the main characters. When I read about Degroof inserting his hand in aqua regia I cringed, I mean seriously? Maybe Mr Aspe isn’t a chemist but a little googling and you know that it’s a corrosive (I mean it dissolves gold right?) but no, Degroof put his hand in the container and the melme enters his glove with no burns, nothing.
Anyway, the book is readable, well written and easy to follow. It is a light reading, not the heavy dark stuff I’m used but sometimes changing is nice. The relationship between Van In and Martens didn’t make sense to me and most probably won’t make any sense in the next books… The fact that Van In interviews a witness with the wife that parades around in topless and keeps staring at her and moreover drinks five glasses of champagne and drives, is disgusting for the police population. And the fact that he smokes like it’s a medicine and doesn’t care who’s around makes me say who the hell wants a man like this? Yeah, I don’t like Van In personally.
I bought this book because of the enigma left at the jewelry store but that was a little let down since it wasn’t part of the mystery.
I gave three stars to this book because the case is “nice” and just because I don’t like the man, doesn’t mean I don’t like his work.
I will read the next books but because I’ve already bought them not because I like the protagonist.