Book report: Linda Van Rijn ‘Winterzon’
Winterzon is a thriller by Dutch thriller writer Linda Van Rijn, in which the main character gets into trouble while on vacation. In Winterzon Amber gets the chance to go on vacation with her in-laws, which she dreads a bit. But she tries to make the most of it and enjoys the music, the drinks and the charming Antilleans one evening with her sister-in-law Sophie. When she wakes up the next day with a hangover, Amber doesn’t realize that this is the start of a lot of stress and secrets that both women are afraid to share with their families.
- Main characters
- Symbols and motifs
- Book cover
- Structure and perspective / way of telling
- Time and place
- Title: Winter sun
- Author: Linda Van Rijn
- First print: 2016
- Number of pages: 217
- ISBN: 978 94 6068 554 5
With the whole family for ten days in a villa in Curaçao at the expense of the parents-in-law for their 40th wedding anniversary. Amber doesn’t know if she thinks this is such a good idea. She especially fears Annemieke, the sister of her friend Bart, who always behaves like a spoiled brat, and her boyfriend Hendrik-Jan, who is an ex-marine and likes to talk about his broadcasts, but she tries to make the best of it. to make. Even if it is only for Bart or their daughter Robin, who loves her nephew Levi, Sophie’s son and Gijs, Bart’s brother.
On Curaçao, Amber decides to go out for an evening with her sister-in-law Sophie. Sophie takes her role as a young mother way too seriously and Amber wants to show her that there is nothing wrong with thinking about yourself every now and then. After some booze, Amber gets Sophie on the dance floor and she enjoys seeing her sister-in-law so happy. Amber notices that Sophie really is a party animal and immediately has the attention of a handsome Antillean. Two young men look on shyly from a distance and make a strange impression on Amber. She doesn’t look for anything else and around three o’clock Amber decides to go back to the villa. But Sophie wants to stay a little longer, together with Franklin, the Antillean with whom she had been dancing all along.
When Amber wakes up she is hungover and does not understand why her boyfriend is giving Bart difficult because Sophie is not in her room. He wants her to look for Sophie immediately, so she returns to the tent where they had been out. There she finds no trace of Sophie. Amber begins to worry, especially when Sophie doesn’t answer when she calls. She can’t imagine Sophie would have gone with Franklin. Maybe she had lost her way or she slept off her intoxication on the beach. In any case, she has to find out because she does not want her or Sophie to get into an argument with Sophie’s husband Gijs.
Amber gets anxious when she sees Sophie’s body and starts to scream. This makes Sophie wake up spontaneously. Her hangover is big and she can hardly remember anything about the evening. She has lost her handbag, but still has her wallet. They return to the villa and agree that they will not be back until now if something is asked. But no one is surprised and both women can sleep off their intoxication with peace of mind.
When Amber is awake her father-in-law tells Herman that a body was found not far from where they were. The head of a drug gang, Franklin Henriquez, was found dead in his swimming pool. Sophie can still remember the man with difficulty, but she does find a photo of him on her smartphone. She doubts whether she should not go to the police. But Amber points out to her that she must also explain to her husband Gijs what happened yesterday and why she did not go home with Amber.
In the evening, Amber goes out unsuspectingly and discovers that she is being followed by the two men, who were also with Franklin yesterday. She panics and quickly walks back to the villa. The next day Sophie receives a phone call from a man she does not understand very well. But from the conversation she understands that they want to know where her bag is and something with Franklin. Sophie has no idea where her bag is and why anyone is interested in it. Amber thinks it’s a coincidence until she goes to dinner with her family in a restaurant at night and notices the two men again.
Sophie calls Amber when she still remembers some things. This way she is almost certain that she has not cheated on Franklin. And then there’s a snippet of a memory about her bag, which she wants to get rid of after white powder falls out. Drugs in Sophie’s bag was impossible, but maybe Sophie had accidentally taken the wrong bag? Amber hopes that Sophie will soon be able to remember everything. And she does, so they can find the bag well hidden. Because the bag is full of cocaine bags, the women want to get rid of it as quickly as possible. They call the men and explain where they can find the bag. Amber has the feeling that she can go back to her normal life and also takes the time to tell Bart what they had been through.
Sophie and Amber are relieved to find that they are leaving for home the next day away from this nightmare. Everything goes well until the family is checked separately at customs in Amsterdam. Each suitcase is fully inspected and in the suitcase of Amber’s daughter, Robin, they find several bags of cocaine hidden behind the lining. Amber doesn’t understand anything, but then Annemieke starts to panic and shouts that it is hers and Hendrik-Jan’s. Everyone is questioned separately and Amber uses this to tell everything about what happened in Curaçao.
Once home, Bart admits that he called customs from Curaçao. One evening he had heard Hendrik-Jan calling about a blonde with a brown bag, but hadn’t looked further. Until Amber had told him what had happened and he made the link to Sophie and her bag and the luxury items that Hendrik-Jan and Annemieke could afford.
It is not clear what consequences it will have for Annemieke and Hendrik-Jan. But Amber does notice that her bond with her in-laws and Sophie and Gijs has become much stronger as a result.
She is together with Bart and Robin is their three-year-old, tough daughter. She herself does not have a good relationship with her parents, she does not even know her father and her mother is almost seventy, but Amber has hardly any contact with her. Amber works as a freelance marketer.
Sophie is a real control freak. She is together with Gijs, Bart’s brother. Together they have a son Levi.
Symbols and motifs
After all the failed relationships, Amber had found the right one in Bart. She is still in love with him and she hopes their relationship will continue.
When Amber sees that Sophie is drunk, she asks herself if she shouldn’t tell Sophie to drink less. But on the other hand, Sophie is a grown woman and is having a great time.
Neither Amber nor Sophie understand why they are being followed and called. Sophie also can’t remember anything about her night with Franklin, which is no help either. But when Sophie starts to remember things, the whole story gets even scarier for the two women.
The cover is more reminiscent of a holiday novel because of the bright colors and a woman with a cocktail in hand.
Structure and perspective / way of telling
The book consists of 217 pages, which are divided into 12 chapters. The story represents Amber Munsterman’s point of view, which is written in third person.
Every house has his cross.
Time and place
The story is set in the present in Amsterdam and Curaçao.
Winterzon is an entertaining thriller, well written and thrilling, but don’t expect to end up on the edge of your seat. The story starts slowly, so you have to persevere to get into the mood. But as a reader you are ultimately rewarded with a surprising plot.