Slaughter and Forgetting by Graham Brack

‘I’ll tell you the story as I knew it. That doesn’t mean that it’s right, just that it’s what I heard or saw.’

Prague, Czech Republic.  Edvard Holoubek, an elderly former detective, approaches Lieutenant Josef Slonský about a miscarriage of justice. Thirty years ago, Lubomir Bartoš was hanged for the murder of Jana Válková, a crime that Edvard Holoubek was certain that Lubomir Bartoš did not commit.   Holoubek has information which he provides to Slonský.  Slonský is not hopeful that he’ll be able to have the case reopened, until Holoubek is murdered in what could be a deliberate hit and run accident.

So, Slonský, his partner Navrátil and a new addition to the team, Peiperova, start to investigate.

Who murdered Jana Válková?  Why was Lubomir Bartoš hanged for a murder he could not have committed?  Those of us who’ve read the first book in the series just know that Slonský, appropriately fuelled with food and drink, will solve the case.  Black humour, witty observations, and dogged investigation are all part of the Slonský style.

‘Always assume that I’m completely ignorant, then make it your job to ensure that I’m not ignorant.’

This is the second book in the Josef Slonský investigations series. I’m enjoying the characters and am finding the cases interesting.  We learn a bit more about Slonský’s past in this novel, and both Peiperova and Navrátil are great additions to the team.

‘Actually, those of us who lived through Communism know that the past can be rewritten any number of times but your future depends on things you can’t change.’


Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Sapere for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.  I’ve since bought my own copy, and am looking forward to the third instalment.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith