(Dutch edition) Summer 1941. With the discovery of a corpse in the Hofvijver, the battle for a stolen masterpiece by Frans Hals ignites
A corpse floats in the Hofvijver, right next to the Binnenhof, on a chilly morning in August 1941. It is Brussels art expert Joseph Foulon, who was investigating a turned-up work by master painter Frans Hals for the adjacent Mauritshuis. A day after finding the body, it turns out that the panel in question, Laughing Girl, has disappeared and been replaced by a forgery.
Charlie Swieninck, chief of The Hague police's Special Crimes Bureau, sets out to find the killer and the thief. He gets help from art historian Rosalie Callenbach. The latter introduces him to the complex art world, teeming with greedy buyers, charlatans, forgers and connoisseurs. Not only did the Mauritshuis want to buy the Hals, the powerful German imperial marshal Hermann Göring also put forward cunning accomplices to get his hands on the portrait.
08 June 2023