Is there any evidence that Hans killed Chuck?

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The short answer is no, there is no evidence Hans killed Chuck. Hans van den Brock is the protagonist and narrator of Joseph O'Neill's Netherland, a Danish expatriate living in New York City. He meets and befriends Chuck Ramkisson, a charming but mysterious Trinidadian, whose business is rather sketchy. As the novel opens, a reporter calls Hans: "She tells me that Chuck's 'remains' have been found in the Gowanus Canal. There were handcuffs around his wrists and evidently he was the victim of a murder" (5).

When they initially meet, Chuck is cagey about where he is from, saying he's from "here," although the woman with him corrects him: "He's from Trinidad" (17). Given that Chuck doesn't seem to be entirely honest (or, at least, is something of a fabulist), that what he does isn't entirely clear, and that a lot half-truths and stories surround him, it's perhaps not surprising that he ends up dead. He claims to be founding a cricket club (there is a lot of cricket in this book) and that he has multiple businesses. It's suggested that he is involved with the underworld, which may explain why he is killed, but we never learn who kills him or what their motives are. Chuck speculates towards the end of the novel: "Abelsky is an unlikely killer of Chuck...Chuck Ramkisson was involved in things categorically beyond my knowledge of him" (250). The murder, like Chuck himself, must remain a mystery. But Hans had absolutely nothing to do with his death.

*I'm using the Vintage paperback edition.

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