Perhaps the end of a wonderful series of mysteries, Hard Rain tries something very difficult and, like Sgt. De Gier of the Amsterdam Murder Brigade, blunders about and gets away with everything. This confrontation between our commisaris and his powerful, evil cousin is exceptional for van de Wetering, whose quietly reflective and often hilarious mysteries probe zen mind, the lasting consequences of WWII in daily European life, and the essence of Dutchness.

There was a bicycle ahead now, very much in the way. De Gier missed it.

De Gier slowed down, looking for a parking place. "That cyclist shouldn't have been on the tracks. Tracks are for trams."

"We aren't a tram."

"And for emergencies," de Gier said.

"We aren't an emergency."

"We're a continuous emergency," de Gier said pleasantly, after he'd parked the car was was strolling next to Gipstra through narrow alleys. "That's why I joined the police."