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Death on the Canal by Anja de Jager

The Blurb

'. . . a novel brilliantly evoking the isolation of a woman with an unbearable weight on her conscience' Sunday Times

Where do your loyalties lie? With the truth or with your colleagues?

Drinking outside a canal-side bar on a perfect summer's evening, Lotte is witness to the fatal stabbing of Piotr Mazur, a Polish security guard working in one of the city's department stores. As Lotte starts to investigate Mazur's death, all the facts point to him being a small-time drug dealer, and his murder is treated as a minor complication in another team's larger narcotics case. Yet Lotte remains unconvinced; having viewed the man's ordered, unchaotic flat and spoken to his colleagues, she can't help but believe he was being set up.

And in the bar, moments before Piotr was killed, Lotte saw a woman pass him a photo of a child. Shebecomes convinced that his death wasn't a revenge-killing over drugs at all, and has to now think carefully about what to do for the best, especially as key evidence in Mazur's murder comes from someone she knows she cannot trust.


Praise for Anja de Jager

'An absorbing read with the smack of reality' Daily Mail 'The book succeeds as a portrait of both a city and, in its heroine, a delightfully dysfunctional personality' Sunday Express 'Impressive . . . De Jager is as good on dodgy family relations as she is on police procedure' The Times 'Detective Lotte Meerman is damaged by her past and tortured by the dreadful mistake she's made at work . . . Amsterdam is the other star here, beautiful and deadly' Cath Staincliffe

About Anja de Jager

I am a London-based native Dutch speaker who writes in English. I draw inspiration from cases that my father, a retired police detective, worked on in the Netherlands.

My Review

This atmospheric police procedural set by the canals in Amsterdam during a heatwave, had me gripped. Detective Lotte Meerman is having a drink at a canalside bar in an effort to win back the affections of her former lover Mark when her efforts are quashed when interrupted by somebody shouting for help because a guy had just been stabbed. Lotte, being a policewoman goes in and together with a doctor fail to save the victims life after he was stabbed once to his lung and twice to his stomach and bled out. The victim Piotr Mazur, apparently a drug dealer, was killed in a revenge attack from a woman in a floral dress that was seen leaving the bar with him just before he was murdered. Lotte believes that none of the above was true, and against orders from her boss, follows her conscience and unravels the complexities of this case where most of the people she meets do not appear what they first seem to be. This is the second of the Lotte Meerman series that I have read, although it is book 3. Author Ms de Jager furnished me with a great sense of place on the streets and canalside of Amsterdam, and I could visualise it almost as if I was there, although I had never been to this wonderful city. There are two more in the series to read, one of which I have already.

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