I’m delighted to be celebrating the publication today, 5th May 2016, of Little Sister by David Hewson. Little Sister is available from Macmillan in e-book and hardback and is the third in David Hewson’s Detective Pieter Vos series. Little Sister is available in hardback and ebook from Amazon and publishers Pan Macmillan.
I’m also thrilled that David Hewson has kindle written a guest post for Linda’s Book Bag, giving a whole new perspective on the idea of what makes a crime novel.
Kim and Mia Timmers were just eleven years old when they were accused of brutally murdering the lead singer of the world famous band The Cupids in the belief he had killed their family. After spending 10 years in an institution for juvenile offenders on the island village of Marken, the sisters are now due for release. But when they disappear on the way to a halfway house in Amsterdam, along with the nurse accompanying them, DI Pieter Vos is given cause to reinvestigate the case.
When the nurse is found dead, washed up on the beach nearby, it becomes clear that there is more than meets the eye in Marken. Ever more sinister secrets threaten to come to light, implicating not only the staff at the institution, but also the remaining members of The Cupids, senior politicians, and even Frank De Groot, Vos’s trusted boss. The race is on to find the two sisters, but with the locals naturally suspicious of the city police and unwilling to help, and threats from above to drop the case, the odds are stacked against Vos and his team. And at the heart of the matter are two vulnerable young women, facing the world for the first time in ten years, and determined to unravel the mystery of their family’s deaths – no matter what.
Praise for David Hewson
‘He has turned TV gold into literary gold’ Daily Telegraph
‘David Hewson has achieved the seemingly impossible…just as gripping as the television serial…this book is worth reading’ Literary Review
‘A story brimming with action and drama’ ShortList
‘One of the most accomplished crime writers in this country’ Daily Express
‘A fast-paced crime novel that’s five-star from start to finish’ Irish Examiner
What Makes A Crime Novel
A Guest Post from David Hewson
For me crime books aren’t really about crime. Like most fiction, they principally concern character. How do people react in life or death situations? What makes them break the law, kill another human being even? How can the victims live with their pain? What do the perpetrators do to try to swallow down their guilt?
It’s guilt that’s the spark for the third book in my Pieter Vos series set in the Netherlands. Two young girls have been in an institution since the age of ten, apparently after murdering a man they believed responsible for a deadly attack on their family. Now in their early twenties they’re deemed fit for gradual release into the community. When they’re allowed out to a halfway house in Amsterdam they disappear, and their nurse along with them.
Pieter Vos, the Amsterdam police brigadier at the heart of the books, finds himself drawn into an old case most thought long buried. With his young assistant Laura Bakker and long-time colleague Dirk Van der Berg, he begins to see that the original case, a nasty multiple murder in the small seaside town of Volendam, was handled in a terribly flawed way.
Are Mia and Kim Timmers, the two sisters, trying to discover what really happened? Or is someone manipulating them to distort the truth even further? Vos has a few ideas. Being a secretive man he doesn’t let them go easily, even with his closest colleagues. Not least because the closer he gets to the case the more it seems someone close to him in the police just might be involved.
At the same time we see Mia and Kim hiding away in the city, a place that offers a freedom they’ve longed for. But when they find it they discover it’s strange and terrifying, and the long years they’ve spent in a remote country institution have not prepared them to deal with it at all.
Guilt. It nags them because they’ve been told for years they were the ones in part responsible for what happened a decade before. But there seem to be plenty of others who are afflicted by it too: a pop group mogul turned politician, a retired cop, and a motley bunch of characters in the small and slightly dodgy seaside town where much of the story takes place.
It’s not the crime that matters, nasty as that is. It’s the fallout from the shattering of the natural order, a loving family ripped apart, lives torn to shreds in ways people either fail to understand or simple refuse to face. These things fascinate me far more than forensic detail which is why you don’t get a lot of that in my books. In the end, of course, Kim and Mia have to find out what really happened, just as the reader must too. There’s a saying in Italian: meglio una bella bugia che una brutta verità, better a beautiful lie than an ugly truth. For Kim and Mia Timmers and those around them the truth is about to become very ugly indeed.
About David Hewson
Photo courtesy of Dingena Mol and Crimezone Magazine
David Hewson is a former journalist who has worked at The Times, The Independent and The Sunday Times. He is the author of nearly twenty crime thrillers set in various European cities, including a critically acclaimed literary interpretation of acclaimed Danish TV drama The Killing and the Nic Costa series set in Rome. His ability to capture the sense of place and atmosphere of the cities in his novels comes from spending considerable research time there. David was inspired to write his new detective crime series starring Pieter Vos (The House of Dolls, its sequel The Wrong Girl and now Little Sister) after exploring the city of Amsterdam whilst visiting for a book festival and accidentally stumbling into the Jordaan: ‘once a rough working class district of the city, very local, very much a tight community…It had lots of visual appeal. Houseboats on the Prinsengracht canal. Bikes everywhere. And those odd statues and slogans which made me curious to discover where they came from.’
In 2011, he and A.J. Hartley wrote an audiobook adaptation of Macbeth, which was read by Alan Cumming and nominated for Audiobook of the Year. In 2014, they followed it up with Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel, which was read by Richard Armitage and won Audiobook of the Year.