The House of Dolls, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Anneliese Vos, sixteen-year-old daughter of Amsterdam detective, Pieter Vos, disappeared three years ago in mysterious circumstances.

Her distraught father's desperate search reveals nothing and results in his departure from the police force.

Pieter now lives in a broken down houseboat in the colourful Amsterdam neighbourhood of the Jordaan.

One day, while Vos is wasting time at the Rijksmuseum staring at a doll's house that seems to be connected in some way to the case, Laura Bakker, a misfit trainee detective from the provinces, visits him.

She's come to tell him that Katja Prins, daughter of an important local politician, has gone missing in circumstances similar to Anneliese.

In the company of the intriguing and awkward Bakker Vos finds himself drawn back into the life of a detective.

A life which he thought he had left behind. Hoping against hope that somewhere will lay a clue to the fate of Anneliese, the daughter he blames himself for losing ...


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 460 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9781447246176

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Review by

The House of Dolls – Fast Paced ThrillerDavid Hewson has used all his experience to write an excellent crime thriller, The House of Dolls will take your breath away. It ticks all the boxes with a clever defective detective and his even more defective side kick cycling around Amsterdam. It is yet another clever euro-crime novel that is set at a breathless pace that touches on darkness and some places we would rather not tread but need to see the light. Hewson’s transitition from screenwriter to crime thriller reader means that he can spend more time developing the characters so that they are strong and clear, so that you get deeper characters with conviction. The plot is both imaginative and breathtaking while being original and fast paced, everything you want from a thriller.A prominant politician’s daughter goes missing and a doll with blood on it is delivered to her parents, similar to a case three years earlier when the daughter of a police officer goes missing. Since that case the police officer Pieter Vos has quit the police and living in a wreck of a barge on a canal and his ex-partner is now married to Wim Prins. The police send for Pieter to help the investigation as he has plenty of insight.Vos has an Amsterdam outsider Laura Bakker as his assistant, a complete misfit who is expecting to be sacked the following week. My small part star of the book is Sam Vos’ dog who seems to mirror the oddness of Vos with all his querks. Vos and Bakker are two different but identical people who work well together when nobody else seems to trust her.As Vos and Bakker investigate the disappearence of Wim Prins daughter they step in to a gangland war, corruption in politics and the police and a long bike ride around Amsterdam. The further Vos gets in to the investigation the bigger the web that he has to investigate. It is when the daughter of one of the gangland bosses in a dingy by his barge that the pace and danger pick up in the search for the truth. Every where Vos looks the web seems to get bigger plenty of people are avoiding telling him and Bakker the truth.It is only through the dogged determination of Vos and Bakker that the Police are able to crack the case with some surprising twists and turns. The bond develops between the pair the further in the investigation they get and there is a grudging respect for Vos from the other police officers who are hoping he is able to crack the web of lies.A great book, short chapters that are quick and punchy, well worth reading and easy to understand why Hewson is a fantastic novelist.

Review by

Interesting setting, I liked the story line, but wasn't a big fan of the characters who seemed a bit shallow. I couldn't relate to them and they felt like a typical litterary personna instead of the possibiliy of being a actual human being.

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