Van de Wetering's series about zany Amsterdam police detectives Grijpstra and de Gier (The Hollow-Eyed Angel, etc.) has its own very special wiseass surrealism, and the latest entry is a doozy, as its author might well say (his ear for American slang being acute). The pair are lying around idle, having formed their own private agency in the wake of a windfall (they confiscated millions in drug money), when the apparently shady operators of an oil tanker come to them with a wild yarn: their ship was hijacked, a crewman was killed and the valuable cargo, which they were planning to sell to Cuba, was stolen. Can Grijpstra and de Gier get it back? They're not overjoyed at the thought (and besides, their clients are from Rotterdam), but when their Commisaris gets involved too, along with constables Karate and Ketchup, they head off to Key West and the islands to see what they can find out. There's sprightly local color galore as van de Wetering makes many trenchant observations on Caribbean history and supplies a splendid array of miscreants before the story is wrapped up with several debonair triple crosses. For lovers of the Amsterdam Cops, this is an especially exotic treat; for newcomers it will be a sparkling and more than usually offbeat introduction. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997 Release date: 10/01/1997 Genre: Fiction
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