‘A vicious dog? You lock him up in his doghouse, or you have him put to sleep.’

In 2013 Astrid and Sonja Holleeder decide to do what nobody thought possible: they stand up to their brother Willem – who after his release from prison in 2012 had grown into Holland’s ‘pet criminal’. They release very incriminating statements against him, just like his ex-girlfriend Sandra den Hartog.  The day the news breaks on 24 March 2015 – ‘Women floor Holleeder’ - a couple of very shocking tapes are being broadcast during a very popular talk show.  These tapes would trigger the downfall of the untouchable Willem Holleeder.

What few people knew is that Willem Holleeder had terrorized his family for 30 years, he extorted and threatened them, just like their alcoholic father, who worked for Heineken, had dominated and mistreated them.  Children, women, in-laws, up to mother Stien: no one could escape their despotic behaviour.

Judas is set between 2012 and now and it’s spiked with flashbacks to the widely publicized events in the past. It’s a jaw-dropping family tragedy in which Astrid Holleeder paints an upsetting picture of a family that  - since the Heineken kidnapping in 1983 - only has a surname: Holleeder.  In this unique book she intriguingly reports about the impact of the kidnapping on all family members, the increasing distance between blood brothers Willem Holleeder and Cor van Hout (who was assassinated in 2013), threatening crime reporter Peter R. De Vries, liquidations and extortions in the criminal world. She also speaks freely about her youth and her mother, the children, her ex-partners, her work as a lawyer, and her double-role as a consigliere to her brother. By posing as a confidante Astrid was able to stay close to her brother and secretly tape their conversations with one goal only: to give him a life sentence. 


  • First printrun of 80.000 copies sold out on day of publication (november 5th)
  • Within two months 475.000 copies in print
  • Ranked number one for ten executive weeks in the Bestseller 60, the official bestseller list covering all (sold) books in Holland. Still high in the bestseller list!
  • Full English translation now available upon request
  • We translated an interview with Astrid Holleeder and the afterword of the book 
  • A 35 minutes long item at RTL Late Night (1,7 million viewers) was dedicated to the book on november 4th: you can watch it here (password will be send upon request). Brandpunt broadcasted a profile of Astrid Holleeder in 2017. You can watch that item here (password will be send upon request). Both items are subtitled in English
  • El País Internacional already reported on the record breaking success of the book in Holland
  • Publishers Weekly (Francis Hoch) reported on the success of the book (PW Global Rights)
  • Nina Siegal wrote a great piece about the book in The New York Times, coinciding with the US deal with Little, Brown 
  • Great (mostly 5 star) feedback from readers on Twitter, and
  • Judas was the best sold book in Holland in 2016, with 382.974 copies sold (in less than two months!)
  • Spectacular content: two sisters of notorious criminal Willem Holleeder (infamous kidnapper of beer brewer Alfred Heineken, in 1983) are currently testifying against their brother. The book is a tell all story about a dysfunctional family which was first terrorized by an alcoholic father, then by their violent brother.
  • A story about crime, family, hate, betrayal - and love


Politikens (Denmark)

Polaris (Sweden)

Germany (Kiepenheuer & Witsch)

USA/World English(Little, Brown)

Czech Republic (Omega)

France (Editions Du Sous Sol)

Russia (Eksmo)

Italy (Rizzoli)

Poland (Proszynski)


‘A woman who has managed to escape from this environment, by going to university and starting a law practice and raising a successful daughter must be made out of tropical timber.  Judas is a fascinating and moving moral drama.' Sheila Sitalsing, de Volkskrant

‘What a story. What a life.' Jean-Pierre Geelen, journalist

‘Reading Astrid Holleeder sitting by the fireplace. What a way to spend a Sunday night. The word ‘page-turner’ was never so appropriate.' Claudia de Breij, writer and comedian

‘Blood-curdling. It’s a world you don’t know, that you can only imagine. Reeling from one surprise into another.' Michel van Egmond, writer

‘A gruesome and intense story. Raw and tender. This woman can write!’ Gerlof Leistra, crime writer

'Disgust, love and revenge are mixed here. It’s the backside of a family history that is dominated by crime.' Jan Meeus, NRC Handelsblad

'This family saga of Holland’s most notorious criminal, at times almost literary, is very oppressive  pitch-black and sometimes gruesome.  But the book is also moving and full of Amsterdam humour, which is often cynical and rough.’ John van den Heuvel, De Telegraaf

‘When I started reading this book I was often blown away.  So touching, so well formulated and well written.' Peter R. de Vries, RTL Late Night

‘I ran out of breath. Every time you put the book away you think ‘Is this real?’ What a story.’ Isa Hoes, writer and actress

'The first word that comes to mind is ‘harrowing’. An incredible, very accurate profile.' Jessica Villerius, filmmaker

'A mind-blowing book.' Antoinnette Scheulderman, journalist

‘I had no idea it was so intense, so horrific, so menacing from all sides. I fell off my chair when I read it.’ Auke Kok, writer

‘I couldn’t believe what I was reading.’ Matthijs van Nieuwkerk, presenter DWDD

‘Astrid Holleeder deserves every sold book and every week she’s tops the bestseller list.’ Simone van der Vlugt, author

‘A family chronicle, a slice of life with a criminal sociopath in the leading role. It is a clear, gripping and convincing book’ Harry Lensink, crime journalist



Lebowski / Oscar van Gelderen


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