Ida Rosenkranz is top diva at the Vienna Opera, but she's gone silent for good after an apparent laudanum overdose. Learning of her professional rivalries and her scandalous affairs with older men, Detective Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt and Dr. Max Liebermann suspect foul play instead. Their investigation leads them into dark and dangerous conflicts with Gustav Mahler, the opera's imperious director, who is himself the target of a poison pen campaign, and Karl Lueger, Vienna's powerful and anti-Semitic mayor. As the peril escalates, Rheinhardt grows further into his role as family man, while Liebermann finds himself at odds with his inamorata, Amelia, who's loosening both her corset and her tongue in the new feminist movement.
PRAISE FOR FRANK TALLIS'S VIENNA THRILLERS
- A] captivating historical series.---The New York Times Book Review
- A] riveting read . . . with well researched and wonderfully imagined period detail.---The Guardian (U.K.), on Vienna Twilight
-Chock-full of tantalizing elements.---The Austin Chronicle, on Vienna Secrets
-Engrossing . . . immensely satisfying.---The Boston Globe, on Fatal Lies
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-08-06
- Reviewer: Staff
A heated political rivalry between Emperor Franz Josef and Vienna’s anti-Semitic mayor, Karl Lueger, serves as the intriguing backdrop for Tallis’s superb sixth historical featuring Dr. Max Liebermann (after 2011’s Vienna Twilight). Celebrated soprano Ida Rosenkrantz has been found dead in her rooms, possibly of a laudanum overdose, her body oddly posed in the center of a rug. An autopsy reveals that the opera singer was in fact suffocated, with enough force to fracture a rib. The sensitive investigation falls to Det. Insp. Oskar Rheinhardt, who enlists Freud protégée Liebermann for assistance. Since Lueger, who’s more popular in some circles than the emperor himself, is up for re-election, the pressure is on Rheinhardt and Liebermann to solve the murder quickly. While navigating treacherous political shoals, the psychoanalyst finds time to determine who’s been sending threatening letters to composer Gustav Mahler, then the director of the Court Opera. Tallis does his usual fine job bringing turn-of-the-20th-century Vienna to life. Agent: Clare Alexander, Aitken Alexander Associates. (Oct.)