Janwillem van de Wetering is far more interested in character than in plot, and his perception of the criminals and the life around him is tempered by his Zen Buddhist experience. Thus, he brings a new dimension to the fiction of crime and detection. More than other writers in this genre, he also has a sense of place, and he conveys to the reader a feeling for Amsterdam. At the same time, he is a realist, and if he admires the beauties of the city’s canals, he makes no secret of the fact that there often is garbage and filth floating in them. In keeping with his interest in the mental, rather than the physical, excitement of the mystery story, he has a keen sense of psychology and an understanding of dreams.