Worst Fears

Michal Sýkora

Michal Sýkora: Worst Fears

Original title: Nejhorší obavy

Genre: detective stories


Host 2020

ISBN: 978-80-275-0177-9

Pages: 272


Jiří Marek Award 2020

Foreign editions:

Macedonian (Slavika Libris, 2022, Donka Rous)


Three returns for investigator Výrová


After four novels, popular investigator Marie Výrová returns in a collection of three extended short stories. Having left the police, Marie has accepted an offer to teach Practical Criminology at the University of Olomouc. But if she was thinking that a peaceful life in academia would protect her from crime, she was mistaken. Once again, she joins forces with her former colleagues, this time on an investigation in which she has a personal interest.

In the story ‘Před potopou’/‘Before the Flood’, at the behest of her student Lucie she revisits a traffic accident of nineteen years earlier – which perhaps was no accident after all. Interest in the long-closed case triggers a series of dramatic events that puts her and Lucie’s lives in real danger. In the story ‘Životní dílo akademika Plíška’/’The Life Work of the Academic Plíšek’, she must come to terms with the death of a friend, murdered in circumstances with strong overtones of the classic “locked room mystery”. ‘Nejhorší obavy’/’Worst Fears’, the volume’s title story, finds Marie in the High Ash Mountains, where she was intending to buy a weekend cottage. Instead, as campaigns for the mayoral elections heat up, she becomes embroiled in a case whose main players are a womanizing businessman, the faithless wife of a doctor at the local spa and a single mother. These stories contain everything that makes this author’s novels such great reading – a likeable protagonist, the thrill of the search, plausible characters, colourful surroundings, not to mention an interest in topical social issues.

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