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“Lord Lister No. 0376: De moord in Short Gardens” is a Dutch detective novel written by the renowned Dutch author, A.C. Baantjer.
The book was first published in 1965 and is part of Baantjer’s iconic “De Cock” series, which follows the investigations of the eponymous Amsterdam detective, Piet van der Valk, and his partner, Dick Vledder.
The novel begins with the discovery of a murder victim in the quiet residential street of Short Gardens in Amsterdam. The victim, a wealthy and well-connected businessman named Lord Lister No. 0376, has been shot in the head in his own home. The initial investigation is led by Detective van der Valk and his partner Vledder, who are soon drawn into a complex web of intrigue and deception as they attempt to solve the case.
As the investigation progresses, the detectives uncover a host of potential suspects, including the victim’s business partners, his estranged wife, and a group of young socialites with whom he had been associated. The case becomes increasingly convoluted as each suspect seems to have a motive for the murder, and it becomes clear that Lord Lister No. 0376’s past may hold the key to his untimely death.
Baantjer’s writing is known for its sharp pacing and engaging plot, and “De moord in Short Gardens” is no exception. The story moves along briskly, with new twists and turns emerging at every turn. The characters are well-drawn and distinct, with their own unique personalities and motivations. The reader is drawn into the complex web of relationships and secrets that underpin the world of Lord Lister No. 0376, and it becomes clear that the detectives will need to use all of their skills to uncover the truth.
One of the strengths of “De moord in Short Gardens” is Baantjer’s vivid portrayal of Amsterdam, a city that is as much a character in the story as any of the individuals involved. The city’s streets and neighborhoods are described in intricate detail, from the bustling red-light district to the quiet residential streets where the murder takes place. This attention to detail gives the story a strong sense of place, and adds an extra layer of depth and richness to the narrative.
The book also delves into the themes of power, greed, and ambition, as the detectives uncover a world of corporate intrigue and betrayal. Lord Lister No. 0376 is revealed to be a man with a shadowy past, and as the detectives peel back the layers of his life, they discover a web of lies and deceit that stretches back years. The novel explores the idea that those in positions of power are often driven by their own desires and ambitions, and that these can lead them down dark and dangerous paths.
In conclusion, “Lord Lister No. 0376: De moord in Short Gardens” is a compelling and engaging detective novel that will appeal to fans of the genre. Baantjer’s vivid portrayal of Amsterdam, his skillful plotting, and his exploration of themes of power and ambition make this a standout entry in the “De Cock” series. Whether you are a fan of Dutch literature or simply enjoy a good detective story, “De moord in Short Gardens” is a book not to be missed.