František Šmehlík (b. 1995) is a native of Ostrava. He dedicated his formative years to sports, mainly judo, in which he is a three-time national champion. He is now finishing his Czech Language and Literature studies in Olomouc. A lifelong lover of books, his favorite authors include Milan Kundera, Bohumil Hrabal and Ladislav Fuks. His crime novel debut Hear the Stags Singing draws readers with a well-developed plot and a unique ability to capture the complicated social bonds in a small community, where anyone could be the murderer.
May 2021, 328 pages
Available material: English sample
The body of a brutally murdered girl is found in a small settlement in the Moravian Beskydy mountains. She appears to be the victim of a sex maniac; all the signs are there. Miroslav Lada, the head of the murder investigation department in the local metropolis of Ostrava, deduces that the murderer is to be found among the locals. His team, including new investigative officer Roman Nitka, begins to untangle the web of relationships in the village, uncovering links to the narcotics business. An unsuccessful musician, a filthy goat-herder, a stern architect and his mentally underdeveloped son enter the scene. The investigators’ personal lives seep into the search: they all share the same goal, but their hunt for the murderer is propelled by different motivations. Will they finally manage to unite and rid the region of the monster? Will they be quick enough to prevent another blow?