Lieneke Dijkzeul

Silent sin

A thriller of social circumstance

During a school reunion, an English teacher is murdered. There are no witnesses and apparently no motive. While the police launch a search for the killer on the basis of extremely unsubstantial evidence, the reader is given insight into the aftermath, into the private lives of those participating in the reunion. The psychological tension between two of these former students, who rather hastily decide to start living together, is a particularly interesting aspect.

While other thrillers are based around a central protagonist, this one investigates the cosmos around the crime, the playground mothers and pub regulars with their domestic problems, the unimportance and unhappiness of the common man.

With its story of the disruption of everyday routines, this thriller can be compared to the bestsellers of Saskia Noort and Simone van der Vlugt, but Dijkzeul writes her story from a more adult perspective, placing the emphasis on the psychology of the characters. The uprooted widower who leads the police investigation is a fascinating individual. With his love of classical music and Dutch literature, his adult daughter who no longer lives at home, and his cat, the grieving Paul Vegter is perhaps the most flamboyant character in the book.

Dijkzeul’s craftsmanship is a joy and a relief. She uses short sentences and straightforward metaphors to create a credible fictional world: ‘It was painfully clean. “No one lives here,” Vegter thought, “it’s just accommodation”.’ Going by this unusual first fruit, Lieneke Dijkzeul will be the first Dutch thriller author who can genuinely compete with the successful social realism of the Scandinavians.

Cleverly managed psychological development.

de Volkskrant

A debut as solid as a rock.

VN Detective en Thrillergids (****)

Dijkzeul’s adult approach and stylistic capacities provide great promise for a home-grown series of social-realist thrillers.

NRC Handelsblad

Dijkzeul writes with a naturalness that, in the Netherlands, seemed to be reserved for those who are regularly nominated for the Gouden Strop: Post, Den Tex, Thijssen, De Zwaan, people of that calibre. […] De stille zonde is a model of intelligent craftsmanship.

Het Parool

Lieneke Dijkzeul

Lieneke Dijkzeul (b. 1950), began as a children’s book author. Her novels De tweede viool (The Second Violin, 1991), Een muis met klauwen (A Mouse with Claws, 1993) and Kortsluiting (Short Circuit, 1996) were all nominated for the shortlist of the Dutch Children’s Jury. She published her first…

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De stille zonde (2006). Fiction, 264 pages.

Themes: crime


Ambo Anthos

Weesperstraat 105A
NL - 1018 VN Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 20 524 54 11
Fax: +31 20 420 04 22

[email protected]

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