Fortunately, My First Corpse Is Fresh

Pascale’s first book, Fortunately My First Corpse Is Fresh (original title: Mijn Eerste Lijk Is Gelukkig Vers) was published by De Fontein in January 2015. It is a very open and personal insight into Pascale’s work as a prosecutor. Because of her – in the legal world unprecedented – frankness, the Dutch Harper’s Bazaar magazine nominated her for the ‘Woman of the Year 2015 Award’. This book, now in its 4th edition, got great reviews and earned a spot in the Bestseller 60 List. It recounts real cases and reveals the doubts, emotions and feelings that go hand in hand with being a public prosecutor. If you have ever wanted to find out how a house search is carried out, what it is like for a woman to manage a group of macho policemen, or why someone chooses to hire an assassin, then Fortunately, My First Corpse Is Fresh might be just up your alley.

On, the Dutch, it gets 4 out of 5 star rating! Click here for an excerpt in Dutch. Or read two chapters translated into English: 

Chapter 4 Fortunately my first corpse is fresh

Chapter 6 Fortunately my first corpse is fresh

Click here to buy it: Koop bij

In this picture, Pascale is signing her first bookcontract at De Fontein publishers on 26 February 2014 incidentally (?) on her late father’s birthday, to whom she dedicated her book.

Impression of the official book presentation on January 25th 2015 in bookstore Dominicanen in Maastricht, The Netherlands:


Peter R. de Vries: 
Interesting: d.a. #PascaleBruinen wrote a book as ‘prosecutor, person and proud mother’. A nice glimpse into the world of law. Highly recommended!

Peter R. de Vries:  
New: Excellent book by the Maastricht public prosecutor #PascaleBruinen: ‘Mijn eerste lijk is gelukkig vers’.

Herman Bolhaar, former President of the Board of Procurators General: “An amazing feat!”

Ruud Bik, Deputy Chief of the Dutch National Police: “Mijn eerste lijk is gelukkig vers’ is written by a true professional who is also a gifted writer. The book has a clear structure and is easy to read. Pascale provides a candid look into the life of a public prosecutor, commentating on (dire) cases from a human point of view and she also doesn’t avoid critical self-reflection. With a lot of humour, but never without respect, Pascale sheds a light on the not-so-pretty side of our society and the roles played by police and the Public Prosecution Service. Everyone would do well to read it, but I would especially recommend it to our own detectives. Pascale has a way of bridging the gap between two worlds that are closely connected but don’t always see eye to eye. In her own way, she connects our worlds even more. ”

Prof. mr. drs. F.C.M.A. Michiels, member of the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State: “I read through your book in one go. I was especially impressed by the parts about sex crimes cases. But there were also (other) parts that cracked me up, like the guy who was ‘sentenced to’ (a fine of) 200 euro, to then ask when he could come collect the money. All in all, the book offers an amazing insight into the work of a prosecutor (and at the same time the work of the police and judges). And not entirely without value, it’s a laid-back read.”.

Nico Lindhout, a loyal reader of my blog: “Prior to reading the book I couldn’t shake that ivory tower feeling. The Prosecution Service, strict men and women in robes, protectors of the law who crack down with ridiculous sentence demands. But having read your book, I now feel differently. Its nuance triumphed over my presuppositions. Well I’ll be… was my first thought, you’re like real people sometimes. I especially felt that way after reading chapter 18, which showed that society is indeed being protected. ”

Want to read more testimonials? See below.

‘Her book ‘Fortunately, my first corpse is fresh’ offers a combinatoir of the humour and self-mockery of her internetblog and the more serious tone of her Weekly column as public prosecutor in the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper’.

‘What a special book! I had not the faintest idea what tasks a public prosecutor has (…). I have laughed, but also cried because many poignant cases really hit home. This is on account of her great way of storttelling (…). I can recommend this wonderful book to everyone!’

‘The cases that are featured in the book, are little thrillers (…). It reads very nicely because of the relaxed but at the same time direct writingstyle (…). Very natural, no pompeus use of language and without fuss (…). The author also has a good sense of humour. Especially the part where she described all the personal stuff she had to take out of her office when office policy changed to flexible working spaces, cracked me up (…). She also dares to be vulnerable in this book (…). We now know more than we ever thought possible. I have read this book with much pleasure and appreciate it with 4/5 stars.’

‘In this book, that by the way reads like an express train, Pascale tells about her own experiences (…). In a very nice way and with a great deal of humour, she enriches the chapters with a column (…), both parts merge flawlessly with eachother (…). Her writing style is lively, direct and I like that a lot. No-nonsense In dit boek, dat overigens als een sneltrein leest, vertelt Pascale haar eigen belevingen (…). Op een heel prettige manier met een grote dosis humor verrijkt ze de hoofdstukken telkens met een column (…), flawless loopt het in elkaar over (…). Haar schrijfstijl is pittig, direct en daar hou ik wel van. No nonsense. She also doesn’t forget to dwell on her own emotions and even a couple of little gaffs (…). I found the book great to read, I rushed through it easily, no pompeus language but very well readable. Highly recommended!’

‘Pascale Bruinen lets the reader browse comfortly through the life of a public prosecutor (…). She tells the stories with a touching frankness and a good sense of humour. She spares herself not in the least. Thanks to this vulnerability, she lessens the abyss that exists between the legal world and the outsiders (…). This and her gift to describe situations in a very visual and expressie way, brings her even closer to her readers (…). Disarming is the way in which she moves herself among the readers (…). All in all a very successful try to change the very onesided view on the work and the soul of a public prosecutor.’

‘I love your book. Beautiful descriptions with humour and on the other hand also very sensitive paragraphs. I am jealous of your writing style.’

‘Fortunately, my first corpse is fresh gives us a look into the life of Pascale Bruinen, a female public prosecutor. I have a lot of admiration for this woman, who knows how to maintain her position in the man’s world of justice and raise a family. To me this seems very hard to do (…). I think this book is an eye-opener. Secretly I wonder whether Pascale was thinking of getting more women to become prosecutors  by writing this book. I know for sure that she has made me extra curious (…). Bruinen has to endure a lot on the job: rape cases, incest, murders. You have to be a real tough one to handle and accept all that while all the while you have children at home (…). I also expected her to be a little emotionless. But boy was I wrong. Bruinen describes everything in an emotional way and she is a very kind person. A normal person and an extraordinarily sweet mother. That Bruinen is brave, is beyond any doubt. And she can certainly write very well. I have eagerly read her candid book. I recommend this book to everyone. Definitely a book that is worth 5 stars.’

‘I found your book very beautiful and extraordinarily nice to read.’

‘In ‘Fortunately, my first corpse is fresh’  you’ll find everyday, horrible, funny and heartwrenching stories, inside and outside the courtroom (…). The book is very easy to read notwithstanding the fact that lawyers in general are not known for their use of accessible languange.’

‘The title is already fantastic and stimulates to read on (…). I think that in this book there is something for everyone, many times you will think: Aha (…), that’s the way it works (…). Furthermore it is very nice to read (…) that justice if neither black nor white, also in this field there are fifty shades of grey. I recommend this book for everyone who wants to know more about our justice system!’

‘How nice, a public prosecutor had written a book about her job. That happened never before in the Netherlands, to my knowledge (…). Outright hilarious is her descriptie of her very first court appearance in Sittard in the presence of a ‘nice subdistrict judge who comes with a huge user’s manual'(…). One maybe would think that Bruinen is mug or arrogant, but the opposite is the case. In her book she dares to show her vulnerable side and her insecurities (…). A big plus is that the book is not in the least an advertisement for the prosecution, but a candid anthology of cases that go well and things that are not perfectly managed (…). All in all is this book, for outsiders, well worth reading. It shows that prosectors do have a human side.’

‘Pascale Bruinen has the courage to write autobiographically about herself and her profession while she is still in the middle of things (…). Her view of the police and the criminal investigation department shows great respect for these instituties (…). Bruinen does not fear to show the reader some parts of her life as a wife and mother. This vulnerability gives an extra dimension to the book. The author is capable of making a connection with the reader, while writing about a profession that normally is regardeer as boring and bureaucratie. The opposite rings true (…). With her writing style, use of Language and her humour the author keeps you with her in the book. She writes in normal and understandable language.’

‘The many examples make the book lively and fast to read. And although I really want to become a penal judge, secretly my heart started to beat faster while reading about her adventures as a prosecutor. The book is especially interesting because of the personal character. It makes the image of a public prosecutor somewhat more human (…). All in all the book is easy to read and suitable for lawyers and non-lawyers alike and – also important – with a good price. Next to that, the book is causing a stirr because I have seen many student reading it in the train. That says it all!’

‘I certainly belong to the people that you have influenced with your book. Now I often wonder what goes on in the head of the prosecutor, especially in cases with small children or dangerous criminals. I have enjoyed it thoroughly, it contains everything: humour, tension, as a reader I could often almost feel your outcry or anger and (….) it has made me think in a more balanced way about our justice system. I think that you have shown lots of people a different and especially more human side of the court and for that reason I think one has more appreciation and understanding for everything that happens in our courts.’

‘Being a public prosecutor, Pascale Bruinen finds a great many stories daily. Those stories awakened the sleep-in writer in her. She wrote many words that found a spot in her weekly column in the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper and in her book ‘Fortunately, my first corpse is fresh’. Or: how a driven and strict public prosecutor became a vulnerable writer.’

‘You have given the world of justice and injustice a real face, you showed us a person of flesh and blood who also struggles with right and wrong.’

‘Insanely good book! I have read it with so much pleasure that I now find it a real pity that I have to put it away because I have finished it. Apart from being a really good prosecutor she is also a very good author! In this book she writes about her job as public prosecutor. She doesn’t shun a single subject. She writes about her own experiences when she brought cases to trial but also about all kinds of other issues outside of a court of law. Pascale really gave me an insight into her life and her work.’ It would be really cool if she would write another book, again about her job because I’d like to know a lot more. Or maybe she can write fiction because someone with such writing talent should use it to the max!’

‘Bruinen has definitely and impressively put her profession on the map. ‘Fortunately, my first corpse is fresh’ is a mustread for every thrillerfan – books, series, films – who wants to know more about what happens in the offices of the prosecution, both before and during an investigation as after the bad guy has been caught.’

‘What a surprising book. The life of a prosecutor obviously is no bed of roses. Because I have spoken  to the author on the phone on numerous occasions, I already knew that she is very nice. But that she also had a very good sense of humour, that was new to me. Several times I had to laugh out loud while reading this book. Yes, there are also people working for the prosecution who are cooking pasta while discussie a case on the phone with the police. In case you have ever worked with the prosecution, this book is a must-read, especially since this book also describes a different side of the job. But this book is also great to read even if you don’t have any link to the justice system. I had a wonderful time reading it!!!’

‘Easily written, good insight into the job of a public prosecutor and the dilemmas that go with it.’

‘So nice, after all those books that lawyers have written, to finally read a book of someone who represents the prosecution. A book that gives a peek behind the scenes is a real asset. I was especially struik by the fact that Pascale Bruinen, who at that time had been a prosecutor for 16 years, is still so passionate in her job. Her experiences show that life as a prosecutor can be very hectic and has a great impact on her personal life. Next to that, she is often confronted with the excesses of society and she deals with those in a very professional way. For that reason, a steady homebase is of great importance. It is very good that the book explains all kinds of legal matters in an understandable way, even for non-lawyers. This book is a must-read for lawstudents because it gives good insight into the daily reality of a prosecutor. In her book, Pascale Bruinen shows that a prosecutor is also a human being with all the doubt and fears that are a part of that human experience. Her book is an incitement to other members of the justice system to also share their experiences in a book.’

‘A very good book, I highly recommend it if you want to know more about investigation and prosecution but especially about the human role in it all. ‘Fortunately, my first corpse is fresh’ is a great book with very personal and gripping experiences.’

‘In this book Pascale describes her experiences as a female prosecutor. You read about how she got the job, what she had to do to get it, how she grew into it, how the times change and all the special, bizarre and terrible things she has witnessed. The book has lots of anecdotes about courtcases and other events. You really get a peek behinf the scenes of a professional that is especially known from tv and fictionstories. The job of a prosecutor entails so much more than you realize…

The book also contains columns that have been published before in the media. They have merged nicely with the rest of the story. Every chapter reads like a column, nice to read and very accessible. I have read it in one go, that was very nice. For Pascale has a very nice writing style. She writes candidly and with self-mockery, but also with respect for all the people she writes about in her stories. So nice that after all these fictional stories that I have read or seen on tv, I have finally got a very interesting peek into the real world of a prosecutor. Thank you Pascale!’

‘I read your book in one go…What a story and what a job! I didn’t have a clue what this job entailed. You’ve showed this to me in a very engaging manner. I compliment you with this feat! Good luck with your work and with the sales of your book.’