Walter Eekhaut (his name rhymes with "stakeout"), a veteran of the Belgian police force who has a problem with authority, is dispatched to Amsterdam to aid the Dutch security service in investigating the activities of a well-connected Russian oligarch, with connections to Putin. Some of the Russian's business is certainly legitimate, but some may well not be. In Amsterdam, Eekhaut is seconded to Chief Superintendent Alexandra Dewaal and her team, and begins to learn about the city's shady underside.
He is at once pulled into another case, the murder of a young leftist dissident, alleged to have stolen a sensitive list from the Amsterdam offices of an ultra-right-wing political party—a list with the name of secret donors. The hunt for the killer leads to a knot of black money interests and illegal dealings that pit the Russian mob and Dutch politicians and business leaders against the police and anyone else who tries to get in their way.
Absinthe is the gripping first installment in the bestselling Amsterdam trilogy featuring Eekhaut and Dewaal and, for North American readers, a new voice in European noir.