Five Dead Dogs

Michal Sýkora

Michal Sýkora: Five Dead Dogs

Original title: Pět mrtvých psů

Genre: detective novel


Host, 2018

ISBN: 978-80-7577-473-6

Pages: 383


shortlisted for the Czech Book Award 2018, Jiří Marek Award 2019 (3rd prize)

Foreign editions:

Bulgarian (MATCOM, 2021, Ginka Bakardzhieva)

Rights sold to:

Poland (Afera), Macedonia (Slavika Libris)


This next instalment of the successful crime series is also known from TV. The film version of this book (directed by leading Czech filmmaker Jan Hřebejk) was named Best TV Film and Miniseries of 2016 in the popular readers’ survey.


One night, a group of masked men breaks into a zoo, murders the gatekeeper and steals three American bears. A team of detectives led by Commissioner Marie Výrová are on the case. At first, their investigation is fruitless: the basic question — why would someone need live bears? — remains unanswered. Then a suspect is killed by one of his accomplices, and the detectives can be in no doubt that they are up against a very dangerous adversary.

Young police officer Kristýna Horová, a former colleague of the team, has been disciplined with a transfer to the district station in Šternberk, where she is looking into the discovery of five dead dogs carelessly buried in the woods. After her investigations lead her to dog fights organized by an ‘influential entrepreneur’ who lives locally, she reaches the conclusion that the two cases are linked. Suspense, the light and dark sides of human nature made manifest in a small town in Moravia, plus, of course, the singular police commissioner Marie Výrová…

The conclusion of the novel differs from the storyline of the TV film.

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