January 2014, 296 pages
Available material: English sample
Foreign editions: Spain (Huso editorial)
One day a mysterious, beautiful girl dressed only in a swimsuit appears on the beach in a little southern English town. She is frozen stiff, does not recognize anybody and does not respond to anybody. The local press turns this into a silly seasonal scoop. A young rookie journalist from Prague on assignment in England is to write a report on the girl. When he arrives in the police cell, the girl seems to recognize him, but as it turns out, this may place his life in jeopardy. The mystery is accompanied with all kind of observations Karel makes about the English society and culture. He contemplates the way it has been changing, for instance because of the influx of immigrants and foreigners, and wonders about the peculiarities of the English people. One could say Karel holds up a Bohemian mirror to England. By the end of the book Karel (or rather Urban himself) gives a sharp analysis of modern English society and its regard for Central and Eastern Europe culture.
“With Scandanavian novels being in vogue, the detective genre in the Czech Republic has undergone a renaissance after many lean years, and we’re beginning to discover authors who can at least match the global average. This can also be said about Urban’s contribution: She Came from the Sea is a novel written by a very steady hand – it is engaging yet believable.”