Spotlight Latest Reads: The Harbour Master by Daniel Pembrey


Publication Date: Available Now.

Source: Author Review Copy.

Maverick cop Henk van der Pol is thinking about retirement when he finds a woman’s body in Amsterdam Harbour. His detective instincts take over, even though it’s not his case. But Henk’s bigger challenge is deciding who his friends are – not to mention a vicious street pimp who is threatening Henk’s own family. As his search for the killer of the woman in Amsterdam Harbour takes him into a corrupt world of politics and power, Henk finds himself facing some murky moral choices.

The Harbour Master is a set of 3 novella’s following the (mis)fortunes of Henk Van Der Pol and is a terrific mix of mystery and suspense with some dark themes explored over the course of the stories.

I enjoyed it – very compelling throughout and written with a true noir style, set in Amsterdam, the first time I have read anything set here. The sense of place is authentic and intriguing and Henk himself is a beautfully drawn conflicted character who finds himself having to make some difficult moral judgements.

There is plenty of action to be had in amongst some more contemplative moments, there is a nice “duo” to be had with Hank and his journalist wife, plus the author manages to avoid the “aged detective” cliche very nicely, making our main protagonist flawed but not caricature.

All of the stories are fast, engaging reads, written in a beautifully readable and addictive style that will keep you turning the pages. Great depth of character and clever descriptive prose puts you right on the spot and overall I would definitely recommend these for fans of psychological thrillers with a kick.

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Happy Reading Folks!

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