The tulip virus – a review

Author: Danielle Hermans

Title: The tulip virus

Allen & Unwin 2010

Eerie, brutal, and twisted, ‘The tulip virus’ writes about some blood murders that stained beautiful the flower, tulip; and about crimes that happened in 1636 and 2007 in a similar violent way that shocked the nation. That makes this novel uniquely gripping and thought provoking.

 When Frank was murdered unspeakably, his nephew Alec had to find it out why. But first he had a lot to learn about tulips.  

Frank took Alec under his wing when Alec was orphaned.  He was more a father figure to Alec. Before dying Franck pointed out a rare 17th century tulip book to Alec. That was the only clue that led Alec to search for the answer and the killer. 

This current puzzle event  is very well knitted into a murder that happened in 17th Century. It, as it happened, also had something to do with tulips. Readers are left in the dark from both plots for a while. Not until halfway into the book, can readers sense those two plot lines actually are well connected.  

Tulips are regarded as the national flower in Holland. However once it is turned into a commodity, into market share, into money and power, something bad is bound to happen. Semper Augustus, a beauty of a tulip, has had blood on its pedals since 17th century. But is this particular brand has anything to do with the murder happened now? 

With the help from a close friend Damien Vanlint and his wife, Emma, Alec moves fast to catch the killer, or will he?  The facts from tulip history gives readers some knowledge about tulips, its origins and its development. However, it is the crimes that keeps readers going and its ending also leaves some wonders for readers to develop their own imagination.

It’s a translation work from Dutch. It’s a novel in a fast pace but yet elegantly written.