Murder in Amsterdam (Atlantic Books)
It was a murder that shook a nation. In November 2004, an angry young Muslim, Mohammed Bouyeri, shot and killed the provocative Dutch film-maker Theo van Gogh. The killer had objected to a film that van Gogh had made with the Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali – an outspoken critic of Islamic fundamentalism. Chillingly, after Bouyeri shot van Gogh, he calmly stood over the body and cut his throat with a curved machete, as if performing a ritual sacrifice.
The murder horrified quiet, tolerant, prosperous Holland and sent shock waves around the world. Shortly after the murder, the writer and academic Ian Buruma returned to his homeland to try to make sense of Van Gogh’s death and to see whether any larger meanings should - and shouldn't - be drawn from this terrible episode. He concludes that ‘The story is not over. What happened in this small corner of northwestern Europe could happen anywhere, as long as young men and women feel that death is their only way home.’