Review published on May 11, 2017.
This is the second book in the Van de Pol series and the sequel to The Harbour Master. Henk is still smarting from his experiences in that first book and he is still wondering if his life wouldn’t be better spent in retirement. But he is asked to join an investigation into an online child abuse ring code-named The Night Market and working undercover try to find out why every attempt to bring the perpetrators to justice has failed. It is believed that there is a mole in the unit working to frustrate the investigation. And Henk soon finds himself in a situation where he does not know who he can trust. Working in a small place called Driebergan, he battles with a unit made up of officers from across the European divide. The story soon becomes more than an investigation into a paedophile ring and the political ramifications of everything that has gone before begin to turn the investigation into something much bigger. Henk finds himself working with people who all seem to have their own agendas, agendas that are not always within the law. Alongside this, Henk is still working through his own marriage difficulties as well as coming to terms with the lifestyle his daughter has chosen. He is a flawed character who sees justice as something not always delivered within the law and because of this, sometimes finds himself working at the edge of criminality.
It is a fast moving book with a complicated plot in which we learn more about Henk both as a man and as a policeman. The backstory about his relationship with his wife and daughter shows Henk to be a man struggling with his family responsibilities whilst trying to keep faith with his employers. To really enjoy The Night Market you need to read the first book as the events that take place in it have a profound effect upon the outcome of his work with the Driebergan group. I think that this book is a game changer in the Van de Pol series. It is fast moving and more tightly constructed than The Harbour Master and the feeling of place is very strong. I can’t recommend this book more highly. I can’t wait for the next chapter in Henk’s life.
Sue Ashton 5/5
The Night Market by Daniel Pembrey
No Exit Press 9781843448815 pbk Apr 2017