Book report: Angelique Haak ‘Eliminated’
The second part of the series about Jennifer Brugman by the Dutch thriller writer Angelique Haak has been eliminated. Marc and Dorine are still grieving the loss of their daughter, when they receive a letter saying ‘It started with your daughter, but it won’t end with her ??’. Dorine decides to go to the police and detectives Jennifer Brugman and her colleague Ricardo de Graaf take up the case. The case quickly becomes complex and difficult to grasp, but Jennifer is determined to find out who is behind it.
- Main characters
- Symbols and motifs
- Structure and perspective / way of telling
- Time and place
- Original title: Turned off
- Author: Angelique Haak
- Series: Jennifer Brugman (2)
- First print: 2018
- Number of pages: 296
- ISBN: 978 94 610 9334 9
Detectives Jennifer Brugman and her partner Ricardo de Graaf are informed of a new case. Twenty-two-year-old Jorinde had committed suicide two months earlier. Jorinde’s mother, Dorine, had received a letter saying: ‘It started with your daughter, but it will not end with her’. And that is why Dorine enlisted the help of the police.
Jochem, the team’s analyst, recognizes the girl and says that she was a friend and classmate of his sister Fleur, who also committed suicide a few years ago. Both Fleur and Jorinde had filed a complaint against their English teacher and hockey coach, Lars de Winter, for sexual abuse. The man had hanged himself for fear of a conviction.
While looking at the list of the thirteen girls on the hockey team, Jennifer discovers that a third girl, Liza van Wingerden, has also committed suicide. Jennifer is left with three suicides and not a single suicide note. So she wants to find out more. Almost the entire hockey team had stated that Lars de Winter had been pawing and several girls had filed a complaint for sexual harassment.
Sonia, a friend of Jochem’s and journalist, is also interested in the story and gathers all the information she can find about Lars and the girls who had committed suicide in recent months. She takes advantage of Jochem’s feelings for her to be as close to the source as possible.
Ricardo and Jennifer go to Jolijn van Bergen, who had also been in the same hockey club as the dead girls. Jolijn explains that the accusations had become more of a manhunt and that she cannot believe that Lars did the things he was accused of. He was amicable and sometimes touched someone, but that was all.
The next day they receive a report of the suicide of Mariëtte Westerbroek, also a girl from the hockey club, who, like the previous girls, had filed a complaint. Jennifer knows it is no coincidence and they cannot speak of a suicide. But they find no clues to prove that Mariëtte was murdered. For safety, Ricardo and Jennifer visit Hester Wijnants, the last girl to report the crime. They tell her what happened to the other girls and ask her to be careful.
They are also looking for Lars’s former girlfriend, Maria Hoffman, but without success for the time being. While visiting Maria’s parents, they learn that Lars was their daughter’s teacher when she fell in love with him. Her parents did not want to know about the relationship and eventually Maria left without having any further contact with her parents. But Jennifer feels that the mother is still in touch with her daughter and hopes to hear from the woman. Meanwhile, Sonia hopes a co-worker can help her track down Maria.
As expected, Maria’s mother contacted Jennifer and gave the address. But when Jennifer and Ricardo arrive at Maria’s house, Maria flees and lose her. In her house they discover things that immediately make her suspicious. An entire wall is covered with pictures of the hockey girls and newspaper articles about Lars’s death.
Dorine, Jorinde’s mother, knows that Marc is no longer the man she fell in love with. He also has secrets from her, which he hides in his study. It’s only when she hears him say, “You shut up and I’ll take care of the rest with the girls” during a phone call, that she fears he has something to do with the suicides and finds it time to investigate his study. Dorine soon finds her daughter’s diary. In it she reads that Jorinde had made mistakes and that Marc had discovered it and had ensured that everything was resolved. It is not clear what errors are involved, but the text was written a few days after Lars de Winter’s death. Dorine also finds movies of her husband having sex with some of the girls on the hockey team.
She confronts Marc with what she found, but he explains to her that Jorinde and her friends had lied to get revenge on Lars because he had rejected Jorinde. Marc had helped them to keep things quiet and as compensation he had sex with them.
A message from Dorine that she had missed the night before makes Jennifer decide to stop by her. There she is received by Marc, who tells her that his wife is not there because they had grown apart and she had gone away to have some rest. But somehow Jennifer doesn’t believe his story.
After reading Sonia’s article, Jochem is completely upset when he also sees his private photos. He wants nothing more to do with her and files a complaint, which results in her being fired. However, Sonia cannot let go of the story. She discovers that Marc had deposited large sums of money to a specific person the year Lars died. She visits Marc, but before she confronts him she is stunned by him.
When Sonia wakes up she is somewhere in a holiday home with Marc who wants to know what she knows about him. She tells him that she found out at Maria’s house that Maria had discovered that shortly after his daughter’s declaration, Marc had bribed the principal, Selma Kroes, to ensure that Lars was fired. Marc had paid Maria a lot to keep it a secret. Tobias, Sonia’s colleague and friend, meanwhile informs Jennifer and Ricardo about what Sonia was up to the night before and that he hasn’t heard from her again. Tobias is afraid something has happened to her.
Marc and Selma
Jennifer wants a search warrant for Marc’s house as soon as possible and in the meantime also arrests Selma Kroes. During their search in the house, they find a Chromebook containing a lot of information, including the sex videos with the girls. Selma Kroes says that Lars wanted to resign herself. He lived with Maria, but had fallen in love with someone else on the team. But Selma doesn’t know who.
While Jennifer goes through all the possible perpetrators, she realizes that they have forgotten one person, Jolijn van Bergen, the only one who had defended Lars. But Ricardo still suspects Maria, so they don’t come on a par. While questioning Jolijn, Jennifer receives a phone call with the message that Hester has been pushed off the metro platform and is in hospital. When Jennifer enters Hester’s room she sees Selma with a syringe in hand. She plans to finish her job.
Selma had a relationship with Lars and when Jorinde and her friends started to blackmail him, Lars saw an advantage in it because Selma got money from Marc. But in the end Lars could not handle the pressure and committed suicide, because of this Selma wanted to take revenge on everyone. When Fleur committed suicide it seemed like a perfect way to take out the women.
Jochem, meanwhile, discovered what Marc had done to his sister and, together with Tobias, managed to find where the man was hiding. Dorine and Sonia are found unharmed and Marc and Selma are both arrested for everything they did.
She is a single mother of a daughter, Nysa, and does not want to be reminded of the father. Her parents were killed in a car accident and her only sister was murdered. Jennifer is tough, sexy and intelligent.
Ricardo de Graaf
He’s a real metro man and Jennifer’s partner. His girlfriend Carmen is a fashion model, but their relationship has gone completely wrong and they split up because of other priorities.
He is the team’s analyst and the youngest of the group. He is sweet, thoughtful and has a sense of humor. He is Jennifer’s best friend.
Symbols and motifs
Jochem still wonders whether he could not have done more for his sister Fleur. Had he not seen the signals? Could he avoid her killing herself?
Ricardo is disappointed when Jennifer tells him she doesn’t want to start a relationship with him, when he really has feelings for her.
Jennifer feels guilty for not replying to Dorine’s message before. She also feels that they are always running behind the facts and that way they can never solve the case.
Structure and perspective / way of telling
The book consists of 296 pages and is divided into a prologue and 9 chapters, each describing a day. The book gives the point of view of Dorine, Jennifer, Evert, Marc, Ricardo, Sonia, Wendy (sister of Liza), Mariëlle and Sacha Westerbroek, Emma Hoffman (mother Maria), Hester, Tobias and Patricia (Nysa’s babysitter) which is written in the third person and Selma, which is written in italics and in the I person.
The revenge grows on a craving for retaliation.
Time and place
The story takes place in the present and the past with flashbacks in Rotterdam, Overijssel and Scherpenisse.
The intro immediately puts you in the right mood. The tension is there and it keeps going like this. You are confronted with secrets, blackmail, deception, revenge, you name it. The end has a cliffhanger, which you have to swallow. An extra strength in this thriller are the characters who also have their own problems and sometimes struggle with their lives. The book is easy to read and the different perspectives add extra strength to this. Disabled is the second part of the series, but you can read it perfectly as a standalone.