Daneet Steffens
August 16, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Hollow-eyed Angel

Current Status
In Season
Janwillem Van De Wetering
, Fiction

We gave it a B

Since 1975, Janwillem van de Wetering has written more than a dozen quirky novels detailing the careers of three Amsterdam cops who crack their cases by wielding Zen philosophy rather than guns. This 13th mystery, revolving around a Dutch volunteer policeman and his eccentric Uncle Bert, who turns up dead in Central Park, is no exception. Detective-Adjutant Grijpstra — who over the course of the series has left an unhappy marriage and jams on drums at the office — does the legwork in Holland; Detective-Sergeant de Gier — who lives with his cat and loves improvisational jazz — gets to sniff around the Big Apple. True to form, van de Wetering keeps you guessing, tempers unflinching violence and amoral activities with thoughtful perspectives, and leaves his regular characters plenty of room to grow. The Hollow-Eyed Angel is not his finest installment but is still engaging enough to hook the uninitiated. B

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