The Dead Reach Out

Original title: Doteky zabitých
Publisher: Práh, Prague, 2021
288 pages
Crime Fiction

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Death in the Prague Philharmonic: a young clarinetist dies during a performance of Mozart's 40th Symphony in G minor in the Rudolfinum concert hall on the banks of the Vltava. Was she murdered?

It is the eve of the Prague Spring Music Festival and the whole city is alive with classical music. Prague is in bloom, the air is balmy, the lilacs are fragrant. But Inspector Marian Holina has no time for romance. Step by step, he tries to unravel the complex relationships among the musicians of the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. It turns out that the dead woman, the beautiful, ambitious clarinetist Olga, had love affairs with two clarinetists in the orchestra. Was she murdered out of jealousy?

The Polish clarinetist Urszula, who is currently making a guest appearance in Prague, would also have a motive for the crime. Did she want to get rid of her musical rival? Both women were aiming for a move to the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Olga won the competition, Urszula came second. Or was Olga not even the intended victim? On that fateful evening, she stood in for her colleague Simon, who was hospitalised just before the concert with signs of severe poisoning. She played his clarinet before she died. Can a clarinet be a murder instrument?

Events soon take a turn for the worse as there is another death: the first clarinetist, Erik, who was cheating on his wife with Olga, is found hanged in his luxury flat.

Will there be more victims? Inspector Holina is working against the clock. It turns out that his girlfriend, the psychologist and astrologer Sabine, is involved in the case in an unexpected way. Because she knows of other deaths, of people who have already died tragically and who seem to have no peace. Is their fate connected to the murders in the Philharmonic?