In the new novel in the iconic Max Liebermann mystery series, master storyteller Frank Tallis delivers his latest suspenseful and spellbinding tale set in the smoky atmospheric world of fin de siecle Vienna.Vienna, 1904.
The body of a man—still sitting in a chair—is discovered in an abandoned piano factory on the outskirts of the city. He has been shot dead but his face has been horribly disfigured with acid, making identification impossible. In front of the body are three chairs positioned conspicuously in a straight line. Who were the former occupants? Had they sat in judgement and pronounced a sentence of death?
Detective Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt calls on his good friend Doctor Max Liebermann—psychiatrist and disciple of Sigmund Freud—to assist in an investigation that draws them both into the shadowy and sexually unconventional world of fringe political activism. It is a world populated by Bohemians, Utopian idealists, and anarchists, many of whom endorse acts of terror to achieve their revolutionary aims.
When bomb-making equipment is found in a suburban basement, the sinister Imperial intelligence bureau (who have been secretly monitoring Rheinhardt’s investigation) make themselves known. A legendary anarchist known only by his code name—Mephistopheles—is abroad in Vienna. An appalling act of terror has been planned and time is running out. Rheinhardt must hope that Liebermann, with his profound knowledge of psychology and science, will be able to prevent the coming catastrophe.
The latest novel in the iconic Max Liebermann mystery series, Mephisto Waltz is a tale of murder, romance, intrigue, and espionage set in the atmospheric world of fin de siecle Vienna.
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An excellent work of historical fiction! My thanks to my contacts at Pegasus Books, Iris Blasi, Katie McGuire, Maia Larson, and Bowen Dunnan for my review copy of this book. You guys rock! The book opens with an account of the 1898 assassination of Empress Elizabeth of Austria. Vienna, 19o4. Anarchists are at work in Vienna, seeking to destabilize the region by various bomb attacks and political assassinations. A body is discovered in a chair inside an abandoned piano factory. Facing the body are three more chairs as if the man had been put through some sort of trial… The case is investigated by Detective Inspector Oskar Reinhardt. The Detective consults with an old friend and alienist, Doctor Max Liebermann. Liebermann is a student of Sigmund Freud. Together Reinhardt and Liebermann investigate, interrogate suspects, and try to make their findings sure by use of the latest in criminal science. The book is a tale of spies, anarchists, counterspies, bombs, murder, political assassination and intrigue. Detective Inspector Reinhardt is part of the intelligence bureau, and at times finds himself clashing with Captain Hoover of the security office over how to proceed… I found it very neat how Tallis works period crime-solving methods into the story. Fingerprints are just beginning to be accepted as unimpeachable evidence. There is also an account of what might be the first attempt at a lie detector. I also liked the interludes when the investigators, hot on the trail, would take a break to sing and play music. In a rush to examine a crime scene, they have time to savor a delicious sausage from a street vendor. This brings a note of humanity to people who must deal with the blood and horror of murder scenes. They are tiny moments stolen from the hue and cry of criminal investigation. The author stays true to historical events while skillfully wording his tale to maximize reading pleasure. I must say that reading this book got me to searching the Internet for the historical references! Though the book ends before the war starts, the anarchists' plans will ultimately be the catalyst that will spark the war to end all wars, WWI. This is absolutely the finest piece of historical fiction I have recently read! The plot is sound, the pacing swift, and the characters complex and engaging. All in all, this was a terrific reading experience! I give this book five stars plus! Quoth the Raven…
Very Entertaining Read. I was a First Read Winner of this book and I really enjoyed it. This was my first book by Frank Tallis, but it certainly won't be my last. I did not realize that this book is part of a series and I was worried if I would feel lost at any point, but besides not knowing how the main characters ended up being friends and helping each other out, it proofed not to be a problem at all. I loved the plot line, characters and the time period, the only negative thing about the book is that I ended up craving some Austrian pastries. Very entertaining read and I will look up other books in the series to hold me over until the next installment.