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Jake Woodhouse has worked as a musician, winemaker and entrepreneur. He now lives in London with his wife and their young gundog. After the Silence is the first book in his Amsterdam Quartet.
Below is a Q&A with the author.
1) After the Silence – what’s the elevator pitch?
Five days in Amsterdam, city of vice.
Three cops in a race against time.
One missing girl and a brutal killer who keeps on killing.
Fast paced, gritty thriller with a lyrical side to it. And there is an elevator which plays a minor role somewhere towards the end.
2) Where did your inspiration come for the Amsterdam setting?
I studied music in Amsterdam, and performed there on and off over the years. I love to walk round cities, and Amsterdam is a great city to do that, compact with a huge range of diverse architectural styles and fascinating, contrasting districts. When I sat down to write my first book I didn't make a conscious decision to write about Amsterdam, it just happened.
3) Can we expect more case-cracking from the Amsterdam Police Force?
Absolutely! After the Silence is the first instalment in the Amsterdam Quartet, a series of four interlinking novels which cover four years in the life of Jaap Rykel.
4) How would you describe your protagonist, Inspector Jaap Rykel?
Jaap Rykel is a searcher, someone who wants answers, even if they lead him places he'd be better off avoiding. He's also a man trying to achieve balance in a crazy world, but as things get tough he starts to lose faith in his convictions, and his rational side comes increasingly under attack by another, darker, more irrational part of him. This struggle is one of the main themes of the Amsterdam Quartet.
5) What do you enjoy reading?
Pretty much anything I can get my hands on! We didn't have a TV when I was young, so I've always been an avid reader. It's hard to pin down favourites, but I hugely enjoy T.C. Boyles' novels; his verbal exuberance, wit, and feeling for people in tough situations keeps me rereading his books, I never get tired of them. The same goes for David Mitchell - I read Ghostwritten a few years ago and was instantly hooked, so I rushed out and bought all his other books. Quite simply he writes lines which stop you dead in your tracks, I tend to like that in a writer.
In Crime I've recently been reading a lot of Don Winslow who is just getting better and better with each new book (and he was pretty damn good to begin with), pushing the boundaries of what can be done with a crime novel. And although I've not read them for many years, I keep meaning to reread the Asterix books...
May 2014 Debut of the Month. Energetic and stimulating, this edgy crime thriller is set over a period of a five days in the Netherlands. When you start reading it feels as though you could have joined midway through a series, there are hints of intriguing past histories that you want to know more about; consequently you sometimes sense you are racing to catch up, you are kept on edge, trying to work out what has happened, what is happening, what will happen. The three main players, fascinating, different and with their own demons to conquer, attempt to get to grips with a tangled web of murder, corruption and horrific depraved criminality. This is a challenging and thought provoking read. ~ Liz Robinson In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.