Read Because of the Cats by Nicolas Freeling Online


Bloemendaal aan Zee, that smugly prosperous little seaside town, has more television sets per capita than anywhere else in Holland. Even its drunks are polite, its houses uniformly tidy and sparkling clean. But there's something very wrong with the kids. The most popular teenagers have formed a gang that is preying, with increasing viciousness, on nearby Amsterdam -- InspeBloemendaal aan Zee, that smugly prosperous little seaside town, has more television sets per capita than anywhere else in Holland. Even its drunks are polite, its houses uniformly tidy and sparkling clean. But there's something very wrong with the kids. The most popular teenagers have formed a gang that is preying, with increasing viciousness, on nearby Amsterdam -- Inspector Van der Valk's patch. Van der Valk has no love for chilly, yuppified Bloemendaal. But his curiosity is as voracious as his appetite for good food. And while his colleagues just want the attacks stopped, Van der Valk can't help asking what it is about the town that has turned Bloemendaal's children into monsters. Freeling can only be compared to Simenon at his very best - New York Times One of the most gifted and original writers of crime fiction - The Weekly Standard Evocative and stunning - Library Journal...

Title : Because of the Cats
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781933397481
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 228 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Because of the Cats Reviews

  • Macha
    2019-04-17 10:26


  • Efranken
    2019-04-06 14:36

    Dutch mystery story

  • Nick Jones
    2019-04-19 17:46

    I’m not aware of them anymore, but the Van der Valk stories used to be admired...and there was a popular TV spinoff. This is a police procedural: it’s not really a mystery. A gang of youths have been carrying out robberies in Amsterdam and then perpetrate a gang rape. Van der Valk takes the case, suspects the crimes were carried out by rich kids from out of town. Largely by luck he begins to have suspicions about some youths in a rich coastal new town: the story follows his finding evidence, understanding the details of the case, confronting the boys, etc. If you like this sort of thing it is well constructed, although there is a lot of explanation at the end clearing up all the loose ends. Van der Valk is constantly registered as normal: he has none of the eccentricities that mark so many literary detectives...or, rather, his eccentricity and gimmick is that he is Dutch. There is none of the angst that overtook later detectives: no broken marriages: his wife happily looks after their child and cooks the dinners. Like Maigret, he is one of those detectives who has the instinctive ability to read character and the world is split between genuine people and the phonies – and Van der Valk is no snob, if he befriends a bluff successful businessman he is also at ease with the local prostitute. But then, during the investigation, there is a strange passage: Van der Valk is questioning one of the phonies, the mother of one of the suspects, and it is stated that it would do her good if she was raped by three sailors – I’m not sure whose voice this is, Van der Valk’s or the author’s, but they are probably the same. As one of the crimes under investigation is a gang rape it seems strange to wish this upon someone...maybe the novel is about to move into a darker area, undermining the line between the lawful and the criminal...but no, it seems a genuine comment. There are a whole series of attitudes underlying the book: they aren’t investigated, they are just taken for granted: I suppose they are the attitudes of an English, well educated, middle class, liberal, male intellectual in the early 1960s...and many of them are a little unnerving. Despite the positive portrayal of the prostitute, sexism is the norm, misogyny not far away: it is presumed women will keep to their places; the boys’ girls (the ‘cats’ of the title) come off worse than the boys; it’s not a theme that the book deals with, but the women are disturbing...the book presumes that we, the readers, are disturbed by women. Behind the gang there is an older man who is finally exposed as emotionally infantile: he mixes fuzzy mysticism and National Socialism...but one of the signs that he hasn’t grown up is that he likes jazz: in Van der Valk’s world grownups appreciate classical music...God knows what Van der Valk and Freeling thought of rock music and the coming generations who listen to it.

  • Lukasz Pruski
    2019-04-05 09:36

    Nicolas Freeling's Van der Valk novels "A Long Silence" and "Gun Before Butter", which I have recently re-read, are masterpieces of the crime novel genre (see my reviewshereandhere . Alas, the most recent re-read of what I remembered was one of my favorite Freeling's novels, "Because of the Cats", has been quite a disappointment. Maybe because this is just the author's second published book (but quite likely the first one that he wrote), out of about 30, and although it is an unusual and engrossing mystery as well as a vivid portrayal of a well-to-do segment of an European society in the early 1960s, the writing is not yet as exceptionally good as in the later novels and the characterizations are not as sharp.Chief Inspector Van der Valk investigates a series of Amsterdam break-ins apparently committed by a youth gang from an affluent Dutch seaside town. The boys burglarize homes and businesses, destroy property, and even rape a woman (the woman later reports that one of the perpetrators said to another that "the cats won't like it", hence the title). The suspects - apparently well-brought-up sons of some of the most influential figures in the bourgeois town and students at a university - are quite easy to find, yet Van der Valk has serious difficulties in obtaining a proof of the boys' complicity and in establishing the motive. Meanwhile, one of the boys dies in suspicious circumstances.Van der Valk's tense conversations with the boys' parents are highlights of the novel. While successful businesspeople are total failures as parents, the youths, in turn, are completely alienated from their parents and from what is really important in life. Not much has changed since 1960s, after all. On the other hand, I find two threads rather cheap - one features Feodora, a whore with a heart of gold, the other has the father of one of the boys helping Van der Valk. They would belong in a bestseller rather than in a serious mystery book.Three stars.

  • Owen
    2019-03-31 09:29

    Nicolas Freeling, who regrettably passed away in 2003 while still writing, has left us with some of the most intriguing crime novels ever written. For reasons best known to himself, but which have ended up delighting his readers, this English-born novelist chose to write stories based on the cases of a Dutch chief inspector called Van der Valk, or a French policeman named Henri Castang. Because of the Cats is a Van der Valk novel set in Amsterdam and the nearby suburb of Bloemendaal.As always, the novel concentrates on Van der Valk's thought processes as he muddles through to the solution of the crimes in his unorthodox fashion. As he does so, Freeling is quite happy to have him also examine certain facets of modern society such as, in this case, the effect of wealth on the children of busy, well-to-do parents. With his earthy approach to life on and off the streets and his innate understanding of some of the darker sides of human nature, Van der Valk not only never fails to "catch his man" (as is natural), but he also never fails to entertain us grandly, leaving us with much food for thought. That being said, he is not the easiest author (or detective) to read, and the level and intricacy of the language used provides yet another level of enjoyment for those willing to follow along. And by the time you reach the end of the book, you will understand that it was, indeed, because of the cats!Comment

  • Jim Coughenour
    2019-04-14 11:41

    The is the first and probably only book I'll read by Nicolas Freeling, the British crime writer responsible for the Van der Valk series – policiers set in Amsterdam during the 60s. Because of the Cats is allegedly one of his best, but I found it fairly dull, both in terms of character and plot. I ordered on the hope it would be as good as some of the other EuroCrime novels (particularly Dominique Manotti's) and I was flatly disappointed. I wouldn't recommend it to my cat.

  • Skye
    2019-04-02 10:26

    I gave up!

  • Helen
    2019-04-11 15:39

    Sordid, tedious, could not finish last 25 pp Never again author!

  • Femke
    2019-03-28 14:29

    Leuk, spannend boek. Leuk om te lezen hoe het verhaal zich langzaam ontwikkeld. Soms wordt er iets te veel uitgelegd, dat had voor mij wel achterwege mogen blijven.

  • Christelle Chamouton
    2019-03-29 13:24

    liked it. It aged a bit but still very enjoyable

  • Judith
    2019-03-28 12:32

    Good enough to read a lot more books by this author.