The first lady of Czech literature for children and young adults has produced a superb thriller for adults. Where is Kazmenia?
The political thriller is the latest genre to be tackled by this novelist with intergenerational appeal. The murder of an investigative journalist critical of Russia, its politics and business is the detonator of this thriller, which, in the words of the author, reflects the current tide of history. This thoroughly contemporary social novel focuses on uncovering aspects which society prefers to ignore. Events during a single week leading up to the European Parliamentary elections are captured through carefully drawn characters and relationships, and interwoven with a secret whose disclosure could alter the course of history – conspiracy is therefore essential, even in the fictitious post-Soviet country of Kazmenia. Iva Procházková’s style of narration is unadorned and straightforward.
“Procházková alternates viewpoints, so we follow the action from the perspective of victims and murderers, journalists, policemen and politicians as well as the young romantics. At the same time, all these characters are three-dimensional and believable; the author constructs a background and personality for them… this is appropriate for a genre whose rules Procházková has mastered perfectly: she is able to create and maintain tension, pace and concern over what happens to the characters.”