A French detective in Holland. A fish out of water. That is the premise of the book. The book, which having been read now, is a book out of time, yet is perfectly and adequately contemporary. Jules Maigret, the commissioner of the Police Judiciaire of Paris is heavy set man, with a penchant of solving crimes through , rather basic yet profound psychology. A Crime in Holland is a Maigret story for the simple reason that it is the crime of a Frenchman in Holland. More specifically, the murder of a Frenchman.
I have found, with the modest number of Maigret books that I’ve read, that these are on the smaller. I have certain many other books which could be double their size. And yet, you do not feel that emptiness that you do feel, when you read other short books. The sheer concentration of information has you turning over the page in a hurry so as to not get sucked back into the boring abyss that is reality. And when you need to take break from the constant pile of facts and knowledge that is being dumped on you, you notice, you’ve not read much at all. That is the basic feeling that I got from the Maigret books that I have read.
Sorry, got a bit side tracked there. Back again. A Crime in Holland is a whodunnit. Simple as that. But is also an old fashioned tribute to the old fashioned customs and traditions that preceded the current stock of ‘old fashioned’ customs. And is also an ode to the necessity of society to be respectful and scandal free. Hollander’s (taken from the book) apparently, look down on the French, for their disgustfully modern behavior. Without giving anything away, A Crime in Holland very much has a Poirot-esque ending with Maigret assembling everyone concerned in one place. Perhaps not for the same reason as Poirot, but similar nevertheless.
Affairs, Boredom,Youth and ‘shady’ characters in the ‘shadows’ take the reader on a journey through the darkness of the night and through the social intricacies of a respectful society with one exception to every rule. The Police Commissioner from Paris. The fish which is out of water, is as calm as the weather on midsummer morning.(I have no idea if that is ‘meteorological-ly’ accurate.) I just realized this sounds like something out of a movie trailer. Never mind. I give no character names, no plot developments, no hints as to whodunnit and I keep it short and sweet. Like the book.