(Vienna Blood 2)
‘A murder mystery of great intelligence' - The Times
In the grip of a Siberian winter in 1902, a serial killer in Vienna embarks upon a bizarre campaign of murder. Vicious mutilation, a penchant for arcane symbols, and a seemingly random choice of victim are his most distinctive peculiarities. Detective Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt summons a young disciple of Freud - his friend Dr. Max Liebermann - to assist him with the case.
The investigation draws them into the sphere of Vienna's secret societies – a murky underworld of German literary scholars, race theorists, and scientists inspired by the new evolutionary theories coming out of England. At first, the killer's mind seems impenetrable – his behaviour and cryptic clues impervious to psychoanalytic interpretation; however, gradually, it becomes apparent that an extraordinary and shocking rationale underlies his actions…
Against this backdrop of mystery and terror, Liebermann struggles with his own demons. The treatment of a patient suffering from paranoia erotica and his own fascination with the enigmatic Englishwoman Amelia Lydgate raise doubts concerning the propriety of his imminent marriage. To resolve the dilemma, he must entertain the unthinkable – risking disgrace and accusations of cowardice.
“A fascinating portrait of one of the most vibrant yet sinister cities of fin-de-siecle Europe. On top of this Tallis has laid a murder mystery of great intelligence”
“An astute and beautifully written psychological thriller ... his handling of the psychoanalysis and criminal pathology are fantastic ... a romping tale”
Scotland on Sunday
“Interesting, original and ... a second novel even better than the author's first”
“Tallis spices things up with a cast of outlandish suspects and colourful witnesses, and a series of mounting suspicions, wrong turns and dead ends creates an exhilarating chase”
“This is the second novel in the Liebermann series and it lives up to the promise of Tallis's earlier book, Mortal Mischief”