When the body of a woman is found in Prague, detective Josef Slonský is put in charge of the investigation. Not exactly known for his eagerness, Slonský is paired with young Navrátil who, being newly-qualified, is the complete antithesis of his jaded superior. After links are made to someone in authority, the detectives know that they must tread carefully as their careers could be at stake if the wrong decisions are made.

As a fan of Jo Nesbo, I could definitely see the similarities between Josef Slonský and the Norwegian detective Harry Hole. With a tendency to use an ‘alternative’ method of investigation and a penchant for the local hostelries, they would make a formidable pairing! Navrátil, on the other hand, wants to play by the book but is easily influenced by his superior. Torn between his desire to follow the rules and his need to assist his superior officer, his career path is certainly going to be an interesting one!

The setting, in post-Communist Czech Republic, is interesting and definitely highlights the different lives led by Slonský and Navrátil. I found it easy to picture where the story was taking place and how the fall of Communism has widened the gap between the generations.

I did enjoy the story, but I found my interest waning at times. The ending, however, was explosive – it’s not often that the promise of a twist lives up to its billing, but this one definitely did!

With thanks to Sapere Books for my ARC.

 

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