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DeKok and the Mask of Death
By A. C. Baantjer

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DeKok and the Mask of Death

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DeKok and the Mask of Death
By A. C. Baantjer
Translated into English by H. G. Smittenaar
Read How You Want, (2010)
EasyRead Large Print, in 16 Point Font
(Originally Published in Standard Print by Speck Press)
ISBN: 9781458740533
Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - June 27, 2010

Channeling shades of Columbo and Inspector Morse, the gray-haired Dutch detective, Inspector DeKok seems at first to be a bit unassuming and perhaps getting a bit too old for the job. However, his lackadaisical continence hides a razor-sharp mind that has been keenly honed over the long years he has spent working as a police officer. In his latest case, DeKok and the Mask of Death, DeKok stumbles upon a bewildering case that will take all his years of experience and intuition to solve...

It all begins one morning when a gawky man by the name of Richard Netherwood finds his way into the detective's room at the Warmoes Street Police Station in Amsterdam. He comes with a fanciful story about how he took his girlfriend, Rosalind Evertsoord to the Slotervaart Hospital for some tests. An hour later, she is nowhere to be found and the hospital staff claims that they never saw her. He first told his story to the local constabulary, but they laughed him off, so he found his way to Inspector DeKok, having heard that if anyone would help him, DeKok would. While DeKok's partner and friend, Vledder thinks that Netherwood is a nut case, DeKok is not so sure. There is something about his story that rings true - so he opens a missing persons case and begins to investigate.

What starts out as a lark soon takes a tragic twist when Evertsoord's car, but not her body, is found at the bottom of a canal. DeKok soon discovers that she is not the first woman to have disappeared from the Slotervaart Hospital. The only connection between these disappearances seems to be that all of the women saw a doctor in Purmerend by the name of Dr. Jan Aken, and they all suffered from a general feeling of being tired and listless. In addition, rather than referring them to the St. Lidwina Hospital which was in Purmerend, Dr. Aken sent them all to the Slotervaart in Amsterdam. The only other connection is that the hospital claims that none of the women in question were ever in the hospital, despite the fact that each has a friend who can testify that they brought them to the hospital.

Are all of these cases really connected or is it just a coincidence? If they are connected, what happened to the women? And who, if anyone is guilty of a crime? DeKok and Vledder will have their hands full getting to the bottom of this confusing case. Full of unexpected twists and a fair share of red herrings, you'll have a hard time figuring out who did what to whom, and why, before DeKok pours himself a cognac and delivers his denouement at the end of the book.

Originally published in Dutch under the title De Cock en het masker van de dood, this is one of the many books in A. C. Baantjer's beloved DeKok mystery series. A former Detective Inspector with the Amsterdam police, Baantjer brings an incredible sense of realism to these police procedurals, and in DeKok he has created an affable and intelligent detective whose cases are fun to read, and even more fun to try and solve before DeKok and Baantjer explain what really happened!

DeKok and the Mask of Death is available from Read How You Want, an on-demand publisher that makes books available in a variety of formats including Braille, DAISY, and five different large print formats. This range of formats makes this, and other books, available not only to visually impaired individuals, but also anyone with a reading or physical disability that makes reading standard print books difficult.


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