It’s challenging to write a great police procedural; that’s why I decided to mix crime noir and thriller with a bit of humor and see where I’ll end up.
My novel – Eyebrow Killer – is about a serial killer with a dark personality or, simply, a dangerous, clever, manipulative sociopath… I’m not sure if I have so much darkness in me. Still, I’m planning to ‘get it done’ – finish my last revision and send the book for proofreading at the end of November 2023.
There are a couple of changes I made, though:
- I decided to change the protagonist. It will be a female detective – Nura Cocasse. I feel it’s easier to write and describe her feelings. She’s not a hundred percent ‘likable’, but it’s Amsterdam after all, and her life is tough, so she has to do what she must do…
- I plan to make a killer switch at the end – surprise! To be honest, I’m not sure who the killer is right now. This is how I’m usually writing (or editing) – I know nothing. BUT I hope the killer will show up at the novel’s end somehow.
- There’s a lot of research and details to go through – which I didn’t yet – from the reading about the Royal Family of the Netherlands to the Civil Wars in Angola and Lebanon.
Here’s an example of the book cover (rough draft), the blurb, and some fun info about the Netherlands.
Nura Cocasse, a female detective with an unusual fear of mirrors, faces her biggest challenge yet – a serial killer wreaking havoc in Amsterdam. This twisted murderer tortures victims and gives them an unexpected eyebrow makeover.
But Nura isn’t alone on this wild ride. She’s joined by her partner, Gail, a divorced and somewhat lazy man of Angolan origin. Together, they make an unlikely duo determined to catch this dangerous criminal before more brows go missing.
As if that wasn’t enough excitement, there’s also a murder involving a book influencer and connections to the Royal Family of the Netherlands.
WHO CAN BE TRUSTED?
Find out as you dive into this extraordinary thriller that will keep you guessing who the murderer is until the end.
So, don’t just stay there – let’s grab a detective hat (and maybe some extra brow pencils… why not?) and immerse yourself in this captivating tale. Don’t worry; we won’t make you face your own mirror fears… unless you’re up for it.
DISCOVERING DUTCH DELIGHTS
The home of beautiful canals, windmills, and stunning tulip fields, the Netherlands is a charming country in the heart of Europe. But this beauty is more than skin deep, and there’s a society just as fascinating as you would ever expect. The Dutch have intrigued the world for centuries with their bicycles, cheese, and wooden shoes. What makes them so distinct, you ask? Let us embark on an adventure into the peculiarities that make the Dutch, well, the Dutch!
Bicycles: The Dutch Love Affair
The Netherlands is the kingdom of two-wheelers. Biking is the Netherlands’ most beloved mode of transport. With that bicycle-to-person ratio, it is no wonder that they are the world leaders in cycling. Bicycles hum in the Dutch cities, and bells tinkle with a symphony of movement. Elegantly dressed professionals can usually be seen pedaling off to work, along with parents steering cargo bikes filled with groceries and children. Cycling is a means of transport and a way of life.
Poldering: The Art of Reclaiming Land
Let us talk about geography: a polder is an area of reclaimed lowland surrounded by dikes. This is nothing new in the Netherlands, one of the flattest countries in the world. The Netherlands prides itself in having about 26% of its land lower than sea level, yet they have become the world’s leading nation in reclaiming land from the sea. The Dutch are experts in water management. Their complex system of dikes, canals, and polder landmarks shows how devoted they were to keeping the waters at bay. They not only created landscapes but also built dams. This incredible engineering serves as proof of the enduring determination and resilience of these people.
Say Cheese: Gouda and Beyond
When it comes to cheese, the Dutch are real taste specialists. There’s plenty more to explore past Gouda and Edam — but I’ll leave that adventure up to you. The Dutch boast over 1,500 different types of cheese, ensuring there’s something for every taste bud. From cheese markets with their vibrant traditions and wooden cheese carriers to a cheese obsession you can smell in the air. Walking into a Dutch cheese shop is like walking into cheese paradise; the cheese wheels steal the show, and sampling is definitely allowed. Therefore, it is safe to say that the Dutch take their cheese very seriously.
Windmills: Masters of Harnessing the Wind
Another Dutch icon is windmills, and while they might bring to mind adorable countryside scenes, they are more than just aesthetically appealing. In the past, these remarkable motors were used to act as drainage pumps, sawmills, and grain mills. Nowadays, many have been converted to residences or museums, yet they still are symbolic of the Netherlands’ innovation and creativity. The Dutch are masters at utilizing the wind, much like they’re masters at living below sea level.
Tolerance and Diversity
The Dutch are known for their open views of freedom and diversity. They were among the earliest countries to have legalized gay marriage worldwide, and their community is structured around acceptance and openness. The Dutch celebrate diversity and are proud of their multicultural society, so it is a hospitable environment for anyone.
Tulips and the Flower Parade
The story of tulips, one of those delicate, colorful blooms, is deeply rooted in Dutch culture. A fascination with tulips can be linked back to the 17th century with the “Tulip Mania” period, and today, there are more than 7 million bulbs on display at the Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse every Spring. This passion for flowers is demonstrated yearly at the Flower Parade, where intricately adorned floats proceed through the streets, paying tribute to the country’s floral heritage.
The Dutch Directness
If you’ve ever been told your outfit is “interesting” in the Netherlands, try not to be offended. Newcomers find the Dutch candidness just as refreshing as mystifying. They respect truthfulness and transparent communication. And while this may appear harsh occasionally, to accept it can feel liberating. The Dutch have no hidden intentions or passive-aggressive energy; you get straight talk.
The King’s Day Extravaganza
The Dutch are masters at partying; no Dutch celebration is more significant than King’s Day (previously Queen’s Day). The nation turns orange on 27 April, when the Dutch celebrate the King’s birthday. The country opens flea markets, turns on live music, and has some street partying. This is the day of the year when even the Netherlands’ most minor sociable citizens get out and party in orange.
Café Culture: Where Gezelligheid Reigns
Gezelligheid sums up most of what makes Dutch culture tick. It’s a word that embodies comfort, companionship, and the cozy glow of being among friends in an inviting space. Nothing says gezelligheid more than a Dutch café. They are where the community hangs out over coffee (koffie verkeerd) and chat for hours. It is about savoring the moment and appreciating the company of friends, as any typical Dutch experience entails.
The Dutch are also known for their diverse cuisine. Although traditional Dutch food is less recognized than French or Italian food, the Netherlands has opened itself up to a mix of culinary influences due to its history of being a trading country. You should try Indonesian Rijsttafel (Dutch-Indonesian fusion)! Popular street foods are pancakes and Dutch fries with a range of toppings. Raw herring is a Dutch delicacy that’s typically eaten with onions. And remember the delicious traditional baked goods and Dutch apple pie and stroopwafels!
The Netherlands is a place where tradition and modernity go hand in hand in perfect unity. From their love of their bikes, straightforwardness, and culinary products, they are a nation full of paradoxes and eccentricities. However, what makes them so charming is their quirks and their distinguishing characteristics from the rest of the planet. If you’re walking beside a canal sipping on their beloved Gouda or cycling past thousands in celebration of King’s Day, remember that the Dutch mix of old-fashioned allure with modern intrigue is unique. Dive in, immerse yourself in the gezelligheid, and you will discover that the Dutch are genuinely one of a kind.