N.V. Mateor

By Havank (Hans van der Kallen)

An early Havank, and a fun one. But a quick notice, since I’ve been typing a lot of notices tonight, and I’m getting a bit tired.

  • Author: Havank (Hans van der Kallen)
  • Title: N.V. Mateor
  • Pages: 191
  • Published: 1966 (1938)
  • Publisher: Bruna

N.V. Mateor is about the improbable company of the same name — N.V. is equivalent to PLC. — that has as its business the blackmailing of rich people and companies by threatening their life, or the life of their loved ones.

N.V. Mateor is chiefly famous because Charles C.M. Carlier begins acquiring is PGD, or personal secret service, and because Silvere first meets his future wife, Manon.

The way Havank introduces Manon, the ‘pittige stenodactylo’ is so  thoroughly sexist that it becomes almost painful to read nowadays. In later books Havank declares that he is in favour of more equal friendship between man and woman, but in N.V. Mateor woman is still made to be the cherished plaything of the strong man.

Oh well, autres temps, autres moeurs, and Havank’s language is still as funny as it was sixty years ago. He still is, despite all attempts by newcomers, together with Van Gulik the only Dutch author of mystery novels who can play in the international league.