A Czech detective novel starring the idiosyncratic Commissioner Marie Výrová, whose cases have been turned into a successful television series.
It’s a hot August afternoon in 1987. The holidays are drawing to a close and twelve year old Hana Kolihová inadvertently witnesses a particularly brutal murder in her villa by the river on the outskirts of the city. The police catch the perpetrator remarkably quickly and nobody believes Hana’s claim that the murderer was in fact a strange green spirit, resembling the water-goblin from Karel Jaromír Erben’s collection of ballads, Kytice.
This time, Police Commissioner Marie Výrová will be investigating a quarter-century old murder. After meeting Hana, who never recovered from the horrific experience, Výrová studies the case and realises that the investigators made a number of mistakes and that many of the inhabitants of the seemingly quiet villa may have had a motive and the opportunity to commit the shocking crime.
“A story that leads through a murder hunt down into the depths of human nature, enlivened by the author’s full-blooded writing, including some fine work with colloquial language. Michal Sýkora’s work is like Dylan’s albums Time Out of Mind and Tell Tale Signs, his Commissioner Výrová’s favourites – tranquil on the surface but dark and disorderly within.”
— Štěpán Kučera, Právo