Century £11.99 (374pp) £10.79 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Death and the Maiden, By Frank Tallis
Friday 28 January 2011
This sixth Viennese mystery to feature the sleuthing double-act of detective Oskar Rheinhardt and psychoanalyst Max Liebermann should satisfy Frank Tallis's old admirers and seduce new ones.
A musical theme propels the 1903-set action, with a dead diva - apparently from an overdose - and a striking cameo by that harsh taskmaster, opera director Gustav Mahler ("I am a tyrant, a monster!").
An English patient, feminist student Amelia Lydgate, gives an extra spring to Liebermann's step. The Habsburg capital reveals all its dissonances, with populist mayor Karl Lueger under suspicion.
Soon all the orchestral textures thicken, and the great Professor Freud makes his entrance, in another bravura performance from a maestro.
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