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Laid in Earth by Graham Brack

laid in earth

Title: Laid in Earth (Josef Slonsky Investigations #6)

Author: Graham Brack

Published on: 25th November 2019

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers

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Rating: 4 out of 5.

Josef Slonsky is now a captain and has four members on his team. Extra manpower is always welcome, especially when there is a complex case to solve. A woman’s body is found buried in the teacher’s training institute. The training institute was previously known as The Red House – the place where STB officials ‘interrogated’ suspects. As Dr Novak, the medical examiner arrives at the scene of the crime, he finds something odd with the site of burial. On further inspection, it is found that the woman was buried on a grave and the previously buried body is now missing.

Are the two bodies connected? Was the woman buried there on purpose? Slonsky investigates.

Laid in Earth is the sixth book in Josef Slonsky Investigations. Having read the first five books of this series last year, I was eager to know what’s next for Slonsky, Navratil and Peiperova.

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A murder case or two combined with dark humour and loads of pastries and sausages, Laid in Earth is an interesting and enjoyable read.

The series regulars include Josef Slonsky – he started as a Lieutenant and is now a Captain of Prague Police Department; Jan Navratil – Slonsky’s mentee; Krystna Peiperova, a member of Slonsky’s team and Navratil’s fiance`; Sergeant Mucha – ask him anything and he brings you a file on it; Dumpy Anna – lady at the canteen; Valentin – a reporter and Slonsky’s childhood friend. Two new members joined Team Slonsky in the previous book – A Second Death – Lucie Jernekova and Ivo Krob. Oh yes, how can I forget James Bond of Czechoslovakia, our very own Major Rajka – he’s Slonsky’s boss now.

That man Slonsky was the answer. He would know what to do for the best.

The story starts with a gardener digging the flower beds in The Red House. He finds something weird with the allotted plot and decides to take his old friend Slonsky’s help. Slonsky and the gardener Hanus Himl start to dig the ground, only to find a dead body. Dr Novak is called in.

‘Well?’ said Slonsky.

‘It’s a woman,’ said Dr Novak.

‘I guessed that,’ Slonsky replied. ‘The bright red nail polish put me onto it.’

‘See? You’re not a detective for nothing.’

‘Cause of death?’

‘She stopped breathing.’

Hmm, isn’t “stopped breathing” always a cause of death? The readers are in for a surprise (if you have been following this series, that is) and this ‘surprise’ has nothing to do with the Navratil and Peiperova’s wedding. The two new additions to the team make the sleuthing easier. Jernekova and Peiperova are teamed together while lover boy Navratil is paired with Krob.

The team members, along with Sergeant Mucha and Valentin dig deeper into the STB and find something sinister. This has got to do a lot with finding the grave at The Red House. What about the recent murder? Is that connected to the body that was initially buried at the grave? Maybe. May not be.

I will not discuss further and spoil the read for those who haven’t read this book yet. But I will tell you this – the story was a tad different from the previous books. There’s more sleuthing, a little less of pastries and sausages (just a little) and some high-end chasing as the story ends. Having said that, I somehow did not enjoy this as much as I enjoyed the previous 5 books in this series. Has this got to do with raising my level of expectations? Maybe!

Laid in Earth can be read as a standalone but it would be better to start from book #1. I recommend this book to those who love to read mysteries with a tinge of dark humour.


Featured Image Credits: Goodreads.com

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