Saturday 15 August 2020

Astrid Holleeder’s book about her brother is 2016’s best seller

Photo: Uitgeverij Lebowski

A book about one of the Netherlands’ most notorious gangsters and written by his sister topped the Dutch best seller list in 2016.

Astrid Holleeder’s autobiography Judas sold more copies in 2016 than any other book, Dutch book promotion platform CPNB  said.

In it the book, Astrid Holleeder, whose brother is gangland boss Willem Holleeder, describes her violent upbringing and her brother’s menacing and terrorising presence. Willem Holleeder is presently in a high security jail suspected of six murders. His trial is ongoing.

Astrid wrote the book in the deepest secrecy and its publication was only announced one day before it hit the shops on November 5. Since then nearly 380,000 copies have been sold.

Astrid, who has testified against her brother, is convinced he will have her killed, she told the Volkskrant in an interview in 2016.

‘It is only a matter of time. The thought of getting his revenge is the only thing that is keeping Willem going. That is why I have written the book,’ she said at the time.

Willem Holleeder has dismissed the book as being ‘full of lies.’ ‘If that book wasn’t about me I would be as shocked as the next person. But what Astrid says is not true,’ he said during one of the court sessions.

Coming in at second place behind Judas are J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Huidpijn, a thriller by Saskia Noort.

The New York Times review of Judas

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.