Lying and Dying by Graham Brack

lying and dying


Lying and Dying is the first book in the Josef Slonksy series.

A young woman is found dead by the side of the road. Apart from a large amount of cash stuffed on her person, nothing about the woman is known – no ids, nada. The lazy but brilliant Lieutenant Josef Slonksy is assigned this case. A freshly-out-of-the-academy young man, Navratil, is assigned as Slonksy’s side-kick. 

When incriminating evidence is found against one of the ministers, Slonsky’s put in a difficult situation.  When corruption, power and money run high, will Slonksy be able to put the culprit behind bars?

I was thinking of this to be hard-boiled-ish novel but I was wrong! An absolutely brilliant start to the series, Lying and Dying is a witty and entertaining read. Don’t get me started on the I-did-not-expect-this twist as the story ends!

Josef Slonsky might be lazy but he’s intelligent. He respects the profession he is in and fights for justice. No matter who the criminal is, he would do anything to see them behind bars. As the story starts, Josef and Navratil are called to the scene. After the body is sent to the morgue and eye witness statement’s taken, Josef rushes to a nearby eatery. No, the culprit isn’t hiding in there… How can a cop solve a crime on an empty stomach?

 ‘I’ll get the car, sir.’

‘You do that, Navratil. Meanwhile I’ll go and get some essential detective equipment.’


‘A flask of coffee and some pastries, my boy. I can’t think on an empty stomach.’

Slonsky rewards his every effort with a pastry or a sausage and a cup of coffee. The culprit may wait please cuz Slonsky’s busy gorging on a piece of cake! 😀 I loved his style of investigation – different but at the same time, meticulous. Being a rookie and all, Navratil has a lot to learn from his mentor but as the story ends, he proves to be a good mentee.

As I was reading through, Slonsky reminded me a little of Bellairs’ Littlejohn for some reason.  Be it the pacing or the suspense, the story is fantastic. A great start to a series debut, if you ask me. Revealing anything more about the suspects would mean making this review a spoiler – which I definitely won’t! Uh-huh! I wouldn’t call it red herring because halfway through the story, the identity of the culprit is obvious. (Something of an inverted mystery from then on.)

The ending was UnExpected! Totally! The investigation gets complicated towards the end and Slonsky’s never left a case unsolved before, you see… But… Ahem! I am not going to say if the case was finally closed or left open or whatever, I leave it to the readers to find out. But, I will say this – expect the unexpected. 😀 😀

I will end this review with an excerpt from the book. (Just to give you a gist of how funny Slonsky can be sometimes)

‘You could have smartened yourself a bit, Slonsky. it is the Director we’re seeing.’

Slonsky inspected himself carefully. ‘I did. I never claimed to be a male model.’

‘When did you last polish those shoes?’

Slonsky burrowed his brow. ‘When did the Berlian Wall come down?’

Lukas was deeply shocked. You could tell because his mouth fell open and he moved it like a landed cat-fish gasping for air.

‘Joke, sir.’

‘No laughing matter, Slonsky.’

‘No, sir. Anyway, I must have cleaned them at least twice since then.’

I recommend this series to anyone who loves to read books of the genre Mystery. There’s humour, good detective work, pastries, sausages… sorry, got a bit carried away there… where were we? Good detective work, interesting characters, politics and corruption and much more.




Writing Style: 5/5

Plot/Story: 4.5/5

Character Development: 5/5

Ending: 5/5


Overall Rating: 5/5




Title: Lying and Dying (Josef Slonsky Investigations #1)

Author: Graham Brack

Published on: 23rd April 2015

Genre: Mystery

Purchase Link:


To all those who know Aidan, Graham Brack’s his dad. 🙂


5 thoughts on “Lying and Dying by Graham Brack

    1. Thanks, L 😀 Post-communist Czech republic and a lazy cop sounded like a good background for a story. Let me not start a Gyan on comfort zones again. 😂

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