The Streetbird (Grijpstra & de Gier, Book 9)
Janwillem Van de Wetering
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"The Streetbird" is titled after a vulture de Grier at the scene of a crime in the red light district. There should be no vultures in Amsterdam, but neither should there be murders. This particular murder victim was a pimp: unmourned by his ladies, feared by his rivals and despised by the authorities - and now only a police matter to be disposed of with typical Dutch tidiness. Reluctantly, Rinus de Gier, still looking for love, Grijpstra (whose awful wife has at last left him) and the arthritic and wise Commissaris try to unravel a particularly unsavory business, which ultimately leads them by different paths to a denouement infinitely more shocking than the crime itself.
herself, as if the conclusion surprised her. Her eyes suddenly glared. "Kavel is bad." "He is, ma'am?" "Oh, yes," she sang, "Oh yes . . . oh yes." She squinted and her hand danced toward her glass. "So why is Kavel bad, ma'am?" "Because he made my daughter pregnant and then kicked her. Now she's in the hospital, and I think she'll die." The woman began to cry. Cardozo got up and gave her his handkerchief. She grinned through her tears. "I got him today, yes sir. On his head, with my pot."
cause her." "Do you often tease your wife?" "Only when she nags." Nellie turned away. "I wish I could nag at Henk, but I don't dare to whine. If I do, he might never come back again." The tip of the commissaris' cane shot up. "What's that squeaking?" "Opete does that. He lives behind the bushes over there. Do you want to see him?" The commissaris was hardly surprised. Neither was the vulture. The bird was perched on a stick, stuck through holes in the sides of a crate. It leaned forward.
on your own." De Gier closed one eye. "Very well. Now take it through your button and make a loop." "Like this?" "Right again. Now insert the needle into the material." "Sergeant de Gier?" Ketchup asked. "You're wanted at the counter. Sergeant Jurriaans is asking for you." De Gier followed Ketchup. "And the button?" asked Adjutant Adèle. "Would you mind?" "I'll oblige," Adjutant Adèle said. "But perhaps I shouldn't. If men could learn to take care of themselves and not to invade our space
turning around me, and I sent him to the kitchen to wash dishes." "Something torments him," De Gier said. "Yes, and I didn't want to know what. That boy does talk too much. He's also too noisy, banging about in the kitchen. I shouted at him and he ran out of the house." Grijpstra climbed the crumbling and moss-grown steps leading to the old house. "Pity you're not in uniform, sergeant. You look smart when you're officially dressed. I'll mention it to Propaganda, maybe they'll put you on a
nodded at Jurriaans. "Yes. Your authority was impaired, a little more each day, and always by Obrian. Divide and rule, that's what you always did; you balanced the princes against each other. Prince Obrian, Prince Lennie, Prince Gustav. Obrian had pushed his brothers out and you could no longer rearrange the balance. Obrian's shadow increased; you couldn't stop the black cloud." "Pimps can be caught," Jurriaans said, "as you saw." "So why didn't you catch them earlier, sergeant? You made de