The Midas Murders

The Midas Murders

By: Pieter Aspe

The Midas Murders by Pieter AspePieter Aspe has done it again, first with The Square of Revenge and now with The Midas Murders.  One of my favorite qualities of Aspe’s writing, is his ability to drop you in the middle of a country that you have never been to and make it feel as natural as if he was setting his story stateside, rather than in the middle of Europe.  At the same time, there is just enough detail to give the reader glimpses into what these foreign cities are really like.  I am not sure how he is able to achieve both the sensation of comfort and the excitement of a foreign location, but it is an interesting experience for the reader none the less.  On top of this dualistic pleasure, Aspe weaves together a captivating plot and blends in a cast of rich and colorful characters.  Reading his novels gave me a very similar sensation to the one Stieg Larsson’s now infamous books did – but I would not compare the two authors.  Each are very distinctive and gifted.  I would say that Aspe is on the same level as Larsson – with the potential to gift us, his hungry readers with additional works which we anxiously await with no more patience than a toddler begging for his next icecream.

The Midas Murders is a wonderful thriller stuffed with all of the essential parts: Murder, Mystery, Bombs, nefarious activity, and a word of potential.  Once again Commissioner Van In endears himself to the us as the talented detective with a few character flaws.  He is deliciously real and Aspe makes him seem like someone you would know, makes him seem genuinely real.  Van In is surrounded by different detectives, bureaucrats, judges and suspects that The Midas Murders an intriguing story from start to finish.  There was so much going on and the book was filled with so much potential that you really hate to put this one down.  When you finally do come to the end of the novel it seems that Pieter Aspe is teasing us with the potential to a follow up novel – a potential that has me very excited.  The gritty Van In, his love Hannelore also receive a few surprises that seem to have the potential to turn their lives around should Aspe grace us with a follow up to The Midas Murders.  I for one, can’t wait for his next work, whatever it might be.

Set in Bruges, Belgium and centered around the cities many monuments, a potential terrorist cell is threatening to destroy these works of art.  Commissioner Van In must solve the murder of an affluent German while working to thwart any further attacks on the city’s treasures.  The plot thickens and events begin to unfold at the perfect pace in Pieter Aspe’s new work.  Spanning countries and time periods this story jumps back and forth between the dark days of war, the cold Bruges winter and the even colder crimes of murder and terrorism.  As you draw to the end of the book you find yourself tearing through pages to get to the conclusion, you are oddly enough wishing that it will not come – the book is just that good.