René Appel (1945) was till 2003 professor of Dutch as a second language at the University of Amsterdam. In the early seventies he wrote short stories for literary magazines. In 1987 his first psychological thriller Handicap was published. Since then nearly each year he has written a new novel. Two of them were awarded the prize for the best Dutch crime novel of the year: De derde persoon (The third person) in 1991 and Zinloos geweld (Random violence) in 2001. His most recent titles are: Schone handen (Clean Hands), Weerzin (Reluctance) and Van twee kanten (From two sides). He has also written two children’s books, three books with short stories, and three scripts (for TV and film) and a play.