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Amsterdam Noir (Netherlands)

Edited by: and

Amsterdam is a very welcome, if long overdue, installment in the Akashic Noir Series.

$15.95 $11.96

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

Walter van den Berg’s “Get Rich Quick” was named the recipient of the inaugural Literatuurprijs Nieuw-West award!

“Every book in the Noir series serves as an introduction to a place. Besides the crime, the series and its editors have made it a point to address things like economic infrastructure, gentrification, and racial politics . . . Amsterdam Noir toes that line beautifully, touching on subjects like the impact of tourism, migration, and discrimination of Moroccans . . . In their introduction, editors Appel and Pachter say they want readers to know that bad things happen in Amsterdam, that the city ‘also has its dark side, its shadowy corners.’ However, what they ended up with is an anthology about a place where bad things happen not because of the psychogeography of the population, not because of corruption, gang violence, drug problems, or poverty, but because of human emotions — lunacy and jealousy. You could see that as a failure, but maybe it’s not. Maybe the crime-free streets of Amsterdam are precisely what they wanted to show. Or maybe, like with most arthouse horror films, the point is that the monsters are not tied to the streets; they are always inside us.”

“The latest in Akashic’s popular city Noir series heads to Amsterdam, a city whose ambivalence is on full display in the stories collected by editors Rene Appel and Josh Pachter. At once, Amsterdam is an idyllic city of orderly cafes, canals, relative abundance and safety; on the other, it’s a place that has long dealt in sex, drugs, and other activities traditionally categorized as vice. It’s a sometimes combustible combination, and the stories in Amsterdam Noir go a long way to probing the everyday noirs of Amsterdam’s many and diverse residents.”

“An appealing compendium, with welcome doses of local color and atmosphere.”
New York Journal of Books

“Fourteen of The Netherlands’ premier authors of crime and literary fiction contributed to this collection, with the editors – top-rated crime authors themselves – providing the 15th. Amsterdam Noir is the latest in Akashic Books’ long-running series of place-based crime anthologies. If this enterprise is in part intended to give a flavour of the locale under the authorial microscope, this collection is another success.”
Crime Fiction Lover

“In spotlighting a city known worldwide for sex workers and marijuana, the editors avoid the obvious . . . Taking the road less traveled is a winning strategy for the editors. The 15 dark takes they’ve collected provide a variety of methods, motives, and menace, while their movie-themed chapters anchor the varied menu firmly in the noir tradition.”
Kirkus Reviews

“One of the best in a generally good series, with no story disappointing and the best genuinely gripping . . . This superior collection of noir fiction will appeal to all lovers of crime fiction—or, for that matter, good writing.”
Library Journal XPress, STARRED Review

“Editors Appel and Pachter take an interesting approach to the structuring of this entry in Akashic’s Noir series. While the chapters in many of the books in this series are arranged geographically, here the stories are grouped according to their thematic similarities to four classic films noir: Out of the Past, Kiss Me Deadly, Touch of Evil, and They Live by Night. Not only does this approach make the stories more accessible to readers who have never been to Amsterdam and don’t know the authors, it also works well as a kind of cross-format read-alike tool. In all, a strong group of notably dark tales of murder and mayhem.”

“This anthology of 15 short crime stories features superior writing from authors largely unknown to an American audience.”
Publishers Weekly

“Devil’s Island” by Mensje van Keulen has been selected as one of the Best Mystery Stories of 2019 by Robert Lopresti of SleuthSayers!

“A 5-Star excursion in noir fiction.”
Larque Press

“This is a story built on details, cleverly used.”
Little Big Crimes, “Devil’s Island” by Mensje van Keulen considered Robert Lopresti’s Best Mystery Story Read This Week

“A very creepy story, although thankfully not filled with gore and horror. Many surprises along the way.”
Little Big Crimes, “The Stranger Inside Me” by Loes den Hollander considered Robert Lopresti’s Best Mystery Story Read This Week

Amsterdam Noir is an excellent addition to the uncommon mystery anthology series Akashic Noir. In this edition, editors René Appel and Josh Pachter selected twenty-two short stories that evoke the noir sensibilities of Amsterdam . . . I loved Amsterdam Noir and think its selection of stories was excellent and the way they were organized was a stroke of genius.”
Tonstant Weader Reviews

“If this enterprise is in part intended to impart a vision of the locale and its residents through the lens of crime, this collection is another success . . . Meet some of the very best Dutch crime writers, right here in these pages.”
Victoria Weisfeld


Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each book comprises all new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city.

Brand-new stories by: Michael Berg, Anneloes Timmerije, Murat Isik, René Appel & Josh Pachter, Simon de Waal, Hanna Bervoets, Karin Amatmoekrim, Christine Otten, Mensje van Keulen, Max van Olden, Theo Capel, Loes den Hollander, Herman Koch, Abdelkader Benali, and Walter van den Berg.

From the introduction by René Appel & Josh Pachter:

Amsterdam has the amenities and, to a certain extent, the feel of a major world city, but one of its most attractive features is its relatively small size. It’s easy to navigate on feet, by bike, and via its excellent public transportation network, especially with the semicircular perimeter of its famous Grachtengordel, or ring of concentric canals.

Like any other metropolis, though, Amsterdam also has its dark side, its shadowy corners—in other words, there is also an Amsterdam noir. No matter how beautiful, vital, and cheery a city might be, pure human emotions such as greed, jealousy, and the thirst for revenge will rear their ugly heads . . . with all their negative consequences. Amsterdam is a multidimensional city, populated by a wide assortment of social groups, and not all of those groups agree on what constitutes normal social values and mores. This results in a lively mix . . . and, as you will see, in problems.

Read an excerpt of René Appel and Josh Pachter’s “Starry, Starry Night” at CrimeReads.

Read a guest post from contributor Christine Otten for “The First Two Pages” at Art Taylor.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Published: 1/1/19
  • IBSN: 9781617756146
  • e-IBSN: 9781617756863


RENÉ APPEL published his first thriller, Handicap, in 1987, and has written twenty more, two of which have received the Golden Noose, the annual award for the best Dutch-language crime novel. English translations of his stories have appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and several anthologies. He is the coeditor of Amsterdam Noir.

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JOSH PACHTER is an American writer, editor, and translator. His short crime stories have been featured in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, among other places, and his translations of crime fiction by Dutch and Belgian authors appear regularly in EQMM. He lives in Northern Virginia. Pachter is the coeditor of Amsterdam Noir.

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