Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Review of The Harbour Master by Daniel Pembrey
The Harbour Master is a police procedural thriller set in Amsterdam. The lead protagonist is Henk van der Pol, a cop nearing retirement, who is very much his own man and is reluctant to retire quietly. When he suspects that an investigation is being deliberately stalled he decides to keep digging, placing himself and family in danger. From there Pembrey keeps layering in criminal intrigue and police and political corruption as Henk stumbles and prods, making and tangling with enemies close by. Pembrey keeps the pace and tension high, but there were too many things I had a hard time believing from police and diplomatic conspiracies, to threats to shut police stations outside of any procedures or public process, to Henk’s investigative journalist wife having never previously visited Brussels. The whole police setup felt far too small, rather than the large sprawling bureaucracy that it is. The result was a tale that had plenty going on, but didn’t quite ring true.