The hit novels behind the major new TV series Vienna Blood
Vienna is in the grip of the worst winter for years. Amid the snow and ice, a killer 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 English evolutionary theories. 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.
British clinical psychologist Tallis follows his superior debut, A Death in Vienna (2007), with this gripping sequel. Viennese Det. Insp. Oskar Rheinhardt, already faced with finding the person who butchered the emperor's favorite anaconda, comes under even more pressure from his superiors when several murders are committed in quick succession. The inspector enlists the assistance of insightful Freud disciple Max Liebermann, who quickly deduces that the killer is choosing his victims to correspond with the plot of Mozart's The Magic Flute. The book's strength lies in the relationship and interplay between the two detectives, whose friendship, which includes a shared love of music, may remind some of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey and Maturin. The clever plotting and quality writing elevate this above most other historicals, even if the solution to the crimes comes as no great surprise.