Although this is not a traditional whodunit, fans of mystery and true crime may enjoy van Heemstra’s dogged investigation ... a unique narrative, blending what appears to be historically accurate accounts of the Dutch Resistance during World War II with elements of fabulism. The book is billed as a novel, but it’s never quite clear how much of van Heemstra’s personal story is true, and that gets a bit frustrating. Nevertheless, World War II and its aftermath can feel far removed from our modern-day concerns, and van Heemstra deftly shows how ripples of this famous Sinterklaas bombing reverberate to this day. The reader is left with a number of moral quandaries.
In this fictionalized account of her own family’s history, van Heemstra offers a taut cat-and-mouse mystery made deceptively poignant by a mother’s desire to offer her unborn child the best possible start in life.
... unsettling autofiction investigating issues of war, vengeance, and morality in a profoundly personal way ... what stands out here is van Heemstra’s sharp and nuanced exploration of just how moral one’s own law can be ... Striking portraiture of a fallen hero and the woman who finds him out; piecing together clues, van Heemstra keeps readers absorbed.