Sunday 12 July 2020

#BlogTour Utrecht Snow and Utrecht Rain by Jonathan Wilkins

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour for the Utrecht Murders - Utrecht Snow and Utrecht Rain by Jonathan Wilkins.

About the Author
Jonathan loves to write. He is a retired teacher, lapsed Waterstones’ bookseller and former Basketball Coach. He taught PE and English for 20 years and coached women’s basketball for over 30 years. He regularly teaches creative writing workshops in and around Leicester.

Follow @WriterJWilkins on Twitteron Goodreadson Amazon, Visit Utrecht Snow Buy Utrecht Rain

About Utrecht Snow (Utrecht Murders book 1)
Utrecht police inspector Caes Heda leads a team looking into the disappearance of young women. Meanwhile his daughter, Truus, bored with University takes up a job with disgraced former police office Thijs Orman at his Private Detective Agency and finds herself looking for yet another missing girl, this time it's her bosses own daughter. are they all linked?

At the Kroonstraat Police station the team Caes has put together look into the normal run of the mill cases and try to overcome the weather as much as the crime in the city as snow envelopes the streets of Utrecht. We meet twins Freddie and Maaike Meijer who patrol the streets together with colleagues Adrie and Danny. The team is made up by Madelon Verloet and man mountain Ernst Hougewood. Together they investigate car theft, street crime, assault and finally murder. We look at the everyday lives of the police involved, Caes still traumatised after his wifes early death and Truus falling for Maaike.

Review of Utrecht Snow
Caes just happens to cross paths with an unfortunate old woman who insists her daughter is missing. He dismisses it from his thoughts, probably because Truus takes up a lot of space in his head. Another chance encounter makes him wonder just how crazy the old lady is.

Meanwhile Truus is discovering a side of herself she wasn't previously aware of and delving into a new career, which inadvertently brings her into her father's world of crime.

This is very much a story that is driven by police inspector Caes Heda, his relationship with his daughter Truus and they way both of them have come together after the tragic death of his wife and her mother. The police procedural side, which features a diverse team of investigators, is perhaps a little overshadowed by the aforementioned Caes and Truus at times.

The dialogue needs to be tightened up a wee bit - a good edit will catch things like the superfluous and excessive use of the word Pappy for instance. The Utrecht Murder series is infused with the flavour of its namesake city it takes place in. I think Wilkins should draw upon that element of the series more instead of just a few Dutch affectations use of language and places. Draw creativity, depth and the culture and give readers more than just a taste. It's essentially what makes the read and gives it the kind of flair that makes it stand out.

Although it appears to be more of psychological thriller it actually has more of an urban crime vibe as the story evolves.

Buy Utrecht Snow at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Utrecht Snow published by in paperback format on 6th March 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

About Utrecht Rain (Utrecht Murders book 2)
Maaike Meijer is attacked in a senseless outbreak of violence at the Dom Tower in Utrecht. Her brother, Freddie, fights off the assailants, but how is the brutality linked to a series of violent threats, cyber crime and the Dutch Secret Service? Truus Heda continues her work as a private investigator whilst caring for her lover before finding the missing link. As the nightmare unfolds we enter the world of Serbian gangsters and Utrecht Goths and see how Hoofdinspecteur Caes Heda and his overworked team tackle a crime that could consume the city.

Review of Utrecht Rain
Maaike is the victim of a vicious attack. Unprovoked, wrong place at the wrong time or is there more to the violent assault? It sets her girlfriend Truus on a dangerous path of finding the culprits and getting revenge or at the very least some kind of justice for Maaike.

Further events rattle Maaike and her feeling of peace is distorted forever, which has implications for herself and everyone around her. You can be as cool as a cucumber on the surface and doing your job, but alone behind closed doors it may be a different picture entirely.

Wilkins writes a character driven story, the threads of family and relationships are woven tightly together throughout. This time the story ventures deeper into the dark underworld of criminal gangs, cyber crime and ruthless killers willing to rid themselves of anyone stood in their way.

I've made this point previously - I think the author needs to draw more on the foreign aspect of the series, as opposed to small details here and there. Give it more of a Van der Valk feeling and go full throttle.

Given the way Utrecht Rain ends, especially the poignant last few pages, I expect to see another episode in the Utrecht Murders. It's an urban crime read with a psych thriller vibe, actually it reminds me of Scandi-Noir, but set in the Netherlands.

Buy Utrecht Rain at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Utrecht Rain published by in paperback format on 17th March 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

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