Adriana Krnáčová in 2017. via Raymond Johnston

Former mayor Krnáčová pens a political thriller about a crusading Prague mayor

Murder and corruption are the subjects of Adriana Krnáčová’s debut novel

Former Prague mayor Adriana Krnáčová (ANO) has a new career as a novelist. Her debut crime thriller will be published in April by Mladá fronta. She first told the press she was writing a book late last year, but did not disclose details. The title was originally announced as Hydra, but apparently has been changed to Hybris.

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The publisher describes the book as a thriller from behind the scenes thriller about Prague politics. The story starts with two charred bodies being found in a former industrial area in Prague. The unidentified victims are at first thought to be homeless, and don’t match any missing persons reports. “

“Against the background of an investigation into a brutal murder, a story unfolds revealing practices from municipal politics, where elected representatives are closely connected to entrepreneurs and where prosecutors can be influenced by an appropriate amount,” the book description states.

hydra
Original book cover for Hydra. via Mladá fronta

“When an anonymous investigation of long-term corrupt practices in the largest city firm is launched, everything gets a different dimension. But no one counted on a stubborn and uncompromising mayor. He is a thorn in everyone’s eyes: his club, his party, and the criminals,” the description concludes.

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The book, to be published only in Czech, has 230 pages and retails for 349 CZK.

How much the story is rooted in fact is up to the reader, according to Mladá fronta book division editor Tomáš Dimter. “In literature – and this also applies to genre literature – it is never clear to what extent the story blends with fiction. To what extent reality enters into literature is a matter of the author’s license and reader’s ability to read between the lines,” he said, according to the Czech News Agency.

It is not clear of the tough mayor is based on Krnáčová. All that is known so far is that the mayor is described with male grammar in the book descrition.

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Krnáčová herself has not commented on the book, but some of her former colleagues have said they planto read the book. Former city councilor Petr Dolínek (ČSSD), who was also in charge of the largest city-run firm, said he hopes he won’t be the main villain. “Of course I would like to read the book,” he added.

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Parliamentary Deputy Patrik Nacher, who also served in City Hall during the Krnáčová, referred to the novel on Twitter as a “page turner for long winter evenings” and later added it has references to real politics and is “unafraid.”

Krnáčová, born in Bratislava, was Prague’s first female mayor and served from November 2014 until November 2018. Before her term as mayor, she was head of the Czech branch of Transparency International, and also served as deputy interior minister.

During her term as mayor, the Blanka tunnel finally opened, after years of delays and controversy.

She did not run for re-election in the October 5–6, 2018, elections, and said she wanted to devote more time to her family. In October 2019, she announced a return to politics and became the deputy chairwoman of ANO in the Prague 6 district.

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