A massive thank you to Anne over at Randomthingsthroughmyletterbox and #NoExitPress for inviting me to take part in the #BlogTour for #NightMarket by Daniel Pembrey. Daniel is a UK-born author who lives between London and Amsterdam and is the author of a number of short stories as well as #TheHarbourMaster which is first in the Henk ver dan Pol detective series.
I have to confess that I have not yet read The Harbour Master so I was intrigued to fly by the seat of my pants for this #BlogTour! The cover and the blurb for #NightMarket just screamed out at me! So here goes!
What the blurb says:
When Henk van der Pol is asked by the Justice Minister to infiltrate a team investigating an online child exploitation network, he can hardly say no – he’s at the mercy of prominent government figures in The Hague. But he soon realises the case is far more complex than he was led to believe… Picking up from where The Harbour Master ended, this new investigation sees Detective Van der Pol once again put his life on the line as he wades the murky waters between right and wrong in his search for justice.
Sometimes, to catch the bad guys, you have to think like one. . .
Henk van der Pol has been asked to join an elite and transnational team of paedophile hunters, the SVU X19 team, based in the Netherlands, but just what impact is this new position going to have on him for “beware that when fighting monsters you, yourself do not become a monster…for when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you” (Nietzsche) It is hard to imagine what type of person you would have to be to take on this task and quickly the reader is drawn into a disturbing portrayal of character as right from the beginning you are thrown into turmoil as seeds of doubt are sown about each member of the team as Henk journeys alongside them.
Night Market doesn’t promise you a lighthearted read and how could it with the main topic of the plot being child exploitation. Yet I did not once feel bogged down by the horrific topic of the book. Child exploitation is not the easiest theme for an author to explore in their work; however, Daniel manages to do this sensitively without being gratuitous or graphic.It is a fast and gritty paced read which is told across three sections (as was Harbour Master) with each of them all linking back to each other. It has crime, political and police corruption sitting alongside some complex and exhilarating plot lines! This book dragged me along at a great rate of knots to an explosive climax!
I found myself sympathetic to Henk, he was likeable but with a dark side and obvious complex issues between him, his wife Petra and daughter Nadia. I could feel the tension between the three ooze from the pages as I read! He is focused on catching the bad guys, no matter the danger it places himself and others in. I just didn’t know who to trust throughout as Henk’s paranoia wound its way inside of my head – who were the bad guys and just who could he trust! So many unreliable narrators in one place!
After reading #NightMarket it is clear that my experience would have been enhanced by reading The Harbour Master first. There are a number of relationships better understood and a number of unresolved issues that would be clearer if you had read The Harbour Master. However, none of this detracts from the fact that this is a cleverly crafted and extremely tightly plotted book which both intrigued and compelled me as a reader throughout. It certainly painted a darker landscape of the Amsterdam we may know and love as tourists yet it was an authentic picture and for me brought the city to life. #NightMarket will swallow you up and spit you out reeling at the other end!
Daniel Pembrey grew up in Nottinghamshire beside Sherwood Forest. He studied history at Edinburgh University and received an MBA from INSEAD business school in France. Daniel then spent over a decade working in America and more recently Luxembourg, coming to rest in Amsterdam and London — dividing his time now between these two great maritime cities.
He is the author of the Henk van der Pol detective series and several short thriller stories, and he contributes articles to publications including The Financial Times, The Times and The Field. In order to write The Harbour Master, he spent several months living in the docklands area of East Amsterdam, counting De Druif bar as his local.
To receive occasional email updates and offers of free exclusive content, please sign up at http://www.danielpembrey.com. Daniel is also on Twitter, @DPemb.
To buy #NightMarket head on over to Amazon and get clicking!