Thursday, 23 July 2020

The Cargo

Almost three months have gone by, turbulent months in which the world had to deal with a continuing epidemic, which currently mainly rages in India, Latin America, Africa and the US.

Inevitably, the restrictions imposed on group meetings have also had repercussions on the book presentations featuring The Batavian, which I had planned during the spring and summer. These were all suspended.

This takes me to my new book Het Transport (The Cargo), publication of the Dutch version of which is expected in early October. The method of presentation of this book will strongly depend on the conditions of the moment. However, publication will not be postponed.

Cover by Palmslag Publishers

The Cargo is actually my first novel. Two years ago I had two manuscripts completed when Hanneke Tinor-Centi, my agent,
put me in touch with my publisher (Palmslag). At the time, I chose to publish The Batavian first. That proved to be a good choice, so now it is the turn of The Cargo.

The Wadden Sea seen from the isle of Vlieland

The Cargo is a thriller rather than an adventure story such as The Batavian. It starts with a gruesome discovery by two yachtsmen on the Wadden Sea. The Wadden Sea has sometimes been described as our last real wilderness, a tangle of sandbanks and tidal channels in the North of our country, which is constantly in motion.

Sailing to Vlieland

The Wadden Sea is an ideal setting for anything that will not bear close scrutiny, in this case overseas women trafficking from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic. The main protagonists get caught in a web of crime and murder. Originally, the title of the manuscript was 'The Directive', which refers to the Human Trafficking Directive (probably a poor translation from Dutch), which plays an important role in the book.

A sinister encounter in the fog

The Human Trafficking Directive at first sight appears to be meant to protect victims of human trafficking. Reality is very different however: the Directive is aimed at providing the Justice Department with witnesses for the prosecution of human traffickers. In itself a good goal, but the victims’ safety often takes second place. That isn’t wild guessing on my part - I read the critical reports of the National Reporter on Human Trafficking in the Netherlands.

Using these ingredients I wrote a thrilling tale set in both the Netherlands and Russia, and inevitably also at sea. There is a fair English translation available of both The Batavian and The Cargo, which needs to be further edited before publication in the English language domain should be attempted. Sample extracts are available from my website.

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