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Amsterdam, Writing

Out today… The House of Dolls

Vos headerToday I start a new phase in this long career with the launch of the first new series since the Costa books began with A Season for the Dead more than a decade ago.

The House of Dolls is the debut book for Pieter Vos, an Amsterdammer living in a houseboat on the Prinsengracht canal. It’s out now from Pan Macmillan and will be published in Dutch by Boekerij in June. I’m  delighted to say it’s also being bought for European TV by one of the largest media companies in Europe… of which more later.

You can read more about the book here. There’s an extensive post with photos on the video and background here. And if you have an iPad you can download a free background multimedia book on the series here.

Next year’s instalment in the series is now being edited. More Pieter Vos and co on the way. My thanks to all my colleagues in Pan Macmillan in London and at Boekerij in Amsterdam, particularly my ever-helpful editor Rienk Tychon for his local insights.

The English edition will be launched at the Amsterdam Book Centre on April 25. I’ll be back in Amsterdam for the Dutch edition at the end of May… more later on that.


Amsterdam, Writing

The Amsterdam locations in The House of Dolls

We’re currently working on a few exciting free side projects to accompany the launch of the new Amsterdam crime series starting with The House of Dolls in April. Here’s a taster of some of the material on the way… a map of the principal locations in the story.

Just click on the image below to open a new window where you can see a map and satellite view of some of the places found in the book, including the two cafe bars that inspired the Drie Vaten, the local watering hole of the principal characters.

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The Killing III and a brand new series

Here’s some news on what to expect from me over the coming year. First, in February 2014 from Macmillan, you’ll find my adaptation of the final instalment in the Sarah Lund series, based on the superlative Danish TV drama.

The Killing III follows Lund into the world of politics and big business as she hunts for the kidnapped daughter of a shipping tycoon. As the pursuit turns personal and vicious it becomes clear that the real answer lies in a solution to an older case, the murder of a young girl in West Jutland two years before during an election campaign.

The creator of The Killing Søren Sveistrup has, of course, said this is the last we’ll see of Lund on TV, and provides a fittingly moving ending in the last episode. In the book… expect some surprises, just as with the earlier adaptations. As I’ve said before, these are works of fiction in their own right, not photo copies of the TV. The Killing III is a fascinating piece of work with, for me, distinct echoes of the first in the series. So there’s much  to think about there as I write.

In April Macmillan will launch my first new crime series since the appearance of the Costa books a decade ago. This sees a change of location, and a bit of a change of style too since writing The Killing has influenced me somewhat.

The location is the fascinating city of Amsterdam, and the principal protagonists a former city detective, Pieter Vos, and a novice police officer from the provinces, Laura Bakker. At the opening of the first book, The House of Dolls, we find Vos wasting away his life in a rundown boat on the Prinsengracht canal.

Bakker, about to be dumped from the police for failing to make the grade, inadvertently offers a way back into the world through an investigation that takes in the world of organised crime and bickering Dutch politics. It’s a lean, fast-moving book, very visual in the style of The Killing but not so bleak, I think, and with a little humour. And there’s another Vos adventure on the way.

Closer to publication I’ll bring you some more details. As you may imagine I have a busy year ahead of me so I’m afraid the amount of time I’ll be spending on the blog and other webby places will be severely limited.

Below in full is the press release from Macmillan about these books. There will be more news of another project shortly… one based in Italy I’m pleased to say.

Release, 5 March


Pan Macmillan Editorial Director Trisha Jackson has acquired world novelisation rights to THE KILLING III from the Danish Broadcasting Company DR, to be written again by David Hewson. She has also bought UK and Commonwealth rights to The House of Dolls and a second title in a new crime series set in Amsterdam to feature police brigadier Pieter Vos. The deal was negotiated with Camilla Wray of Darley Anderson Literary Agency.

THE KILLING III will publish in hardback in February 2014 and paperback in Autumn 2014.

THE KILLING III is the last in the BAFTA award-winning series to feature Sarah Lund, who has been quoted as ‘the world’s best detective’, and is thought by many to be the finest story of the series.  In just eight months, sales of THE KILLING I were in six figures and Macmillan hope to replicate this success.

Trisha Jackson says,

“I am delighted to be publishing both KILLING III and David’s new Dutch series . He’s an extremely talented writer who has not only taken the wonderful script by Søren Sveistrup and his co-writers at DR and successfully developed it for the page, but he has also written this fabulous new Dutch crime series which takes the reader to the canals of Amsterdam and its underworld.”

David Hewson says,

”It’s a delight to be working with Trisha and the team at Macmillan again, both writing Sarah Lund’s last case and developing an exciting new series based in Amsterdam. Pieter Vos and his world represent a new departure for me, one greatly influenced by my work adapting THE KILLING series from screen to page.”

David Hewson is well-known for his crime-thriller fiction set in European cities. He is the author of nine novels in the highly acclaimed Detective Nic Costa series, set in Rome and Venice.  David spent time in Copenhagen researching and writing the novel of THE KILLING, which was created by Søren Sveistrup and produced by DR, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation. THE KILLING has won prestigious awards throughout Europe including a BAFTA, Best European Production at Monte Carlo TV Festival and numerous International Emmy nominations. It was highly acclaimed in the UK and became a cult phenomenon when it was shown on BBC4.