‘Mussert’s shadow’ and ‘The Ripper connection’ win the most important Dutch thriller prizes

‘Mussert’s shadow’ and ‘The Ripper connection’ win the most important Dutch thriller prizes

The most important Dutch prizes for exciting books of 2023 were awarded to John Kuipers on Thursday for his book Mussert’s shadow and to Gerrit Barendrecht for his book The Ripper connection. This was announced by the umbrella organization CPNB. Kuipers wins the Golden Strop, the most important prize for Dutch thrillers. He receives a check for 10,000 euros. Barendrecht receives the readers’ jury prize for the best suspense book, which is called the HebbanThriller Prize. The encouragement prize for the best debut in the thriller genre was not awarded this year because there were too few entries.

It is striking that Kuipers’ winning book is the writer’s thriller debut. “John Kuipers instantly rises to the top of the genre,” said the jury. His book is about a Dutch chief inspector in The Hague, in the year 1940. The police chief must relate to the German occupier, who is increasingly gaining a say within the Hague police. When an important counselor of the NSB is murdered, the party leadership insists on looking for the perpetrator outside the NSB itself, even though all arrows point to the party itself.

Also The Ripper connection van Barendrecht is a historical thriller. Like his previous two thrillers about the same journalist-inspector duo, the story is set in nineteenth-century Amsterdam. In the book, Jack the Ripper suddenly seems to strike in Amsterdam instead of London. And it doesn’t stop at just one murder. But when it turns out that the killer is targeting one specific person, things become very personal for the two main characters. “A book that also gives a new face to one of the most famous serial killers of all time.”

The winners will also be present on Thursday evening at the Evening of the Exciting Book. That event kicks off the Thriller Weeks, which start on Friday. For three weeks, bookstores and libraries will pay extra attention to exciting books. The thriller genre has been very popular among Dutch readers for some time.

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