The Night of Wencelas by Lionel Davidson

There are some fascinating details about Prague in this book, hence this book review is in my travel blog.

Nicolas Whistler is a young man who lives in digs in London and spends most of his spare cash on his car. He has a girlfriend that he rather likes and a job he doesn’t like. He regularly goes down to Bournemouth to see his mum and her friend who both live in the same hotel.

His father had an interest in a Bohemian glassworks in Czechoslovakia. Nicolas receives some disturbing news from a solicitor that his uncle has died and left him an inheritance. Before he can acquire this money, he receives an offer from the solicitor to go to Prague and bring back a formula for some glass that will make the maker of it a fortune as it will be almost unbreakable. All Nicolas has to do is leave a guidebook on a desk in a glassworks he will visit near Prague and the formula will be placed in the flyleaf of the book. Nicolas meets a statuesque girl and this complicates things slightly but he returns to London clutching his guidebook and hands it over thinking his mission is over.

It isn’t.

The news about his uncle was a lie and unfortunately the formula he brought back is incomplete. He must go back to Prague and obtain the rest of the formula. This time his suspicions are aroused when he inspects the guidebook he’s been given before he visits the glassworks. It turns out Nicolas is being used by the authorities and he’s a spy, an unintentional spy. The Czechoslovak secret police interrogate and beat him, but he escapes and is on the run. He realises he can’t trust anyone, no one is actually who they seem, not even the girl he fell for in his previous visit.

What happens…well that would be telling. It’s a lovely book and I will read more by this author.

Published by Julian Worker

Julian was born in Leicester, attended school in Yorkshire, and university in Liverpool. He has been to 94 countries and territories and intends to make the 100 when travel is easier. He writes travel books, murder / mysteries and absurd fiction. His sense of humour is distilled from The Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. His latest book is about a Buddhist cat who tries to help his squirrel friend fly further from a children's slide.

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