One night in 1905, a sailor had a horrifying experience on North Holland’s canal. He finds a body in the water, pulls it in and delivers it to the authorities. The ensuing inquiry suggests murder. The events have a grip on Wijnand Kops. He thought he had left his life on dry land behind him, but it creeps back into his mind. When his ship is locked in winter ice, he goes out to research the murder – meeting a community where everybody knows everything about each other. But in which nobody can name the killer.
The barmaid of The Little Hunter knows more than she lets on, just like the boy of the draw bridge. The village fears that simpleton Neel will run her mouth. She recently posed for a foreign painter and is now expecting his baby. Scandal is a grappling love story. Crossed with the conflict between traditional values and modern times, the attraction to the new and the fear of all strange things. The novel is based on Pablo Picasso’s stay in Schoorldam, the Netherlands, in 1905.
‘Exactly how ingenious the story is constructed cannot be told without exposing the plot. Since we don’t want to do that you are going to have to trust me on this. The book is tightly composed but still maintains a ‘loose’ feeling. Gijs IJlander writes sober sentences with great story telling abilities.’
– Algemeen Dagblad
‘Gijs IJlander has convincingly shown where the narrow-mindedly and paranoia of a small community can lead to in his novel.’ - Elsevier
‘IJlander writes graphic but needs little words to impress and move with his subdued sympathy. And the composition of the book is tight and balanced where the end refer to the beginning and is both a novel and a true whodunit.’
– Haarlems Dagblad
‘The novel is entertaining and full of fantasy. And the murder at Koedijk would never have happened if Pablo Picasso hadn’t visited the town.’ – PZC