Nicholas Freeling

Freeling’s first series hero, Van der Valk, appeared in 1962 in Love in Amsterdam. These novels are romans policiers, with an obvious debt to Simenon. Many have wonderfully idiosyncratic titles (Gun Before Butter). In 1972 Freeling killed off Van der Valk in mid-novel and replaced him as protagonist with his widow, Arlette

A later series hero was the French detective Henri Castang. In Freeling’s latest novel, One More River, an elderly English crime novelist living in France is forced to confront both his past and his future when someone tries to kill him. It typifies Freeling’s rewarding and uniquely eccentric contribution to the genre.

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