- Author: Frank Tallis
Book online «Fatal Lies Frank Tallis (best fiction books to read txt) 📖». Author Frank Tallis
“Elegant.… Tallis has come up with a particularly ingenious method of murder.… His novels show the modern world coming into existence in one of Europe's great cities, and are all the more poignant for the knowledge that the first world war will soon cast its shadow over his deeply human characters.”
The Sunday Times
“[Tallis's] handling of the psychoanalysis and criminal pathology are fan tastic… a romping tale.”
Scotland on Sunday
“A murder mystery of great intelligence… a fascinating portrait of one of the most vibrant yet sinister cities of fin-de-siècle Europe.”
“Tallis uses his knowledge of medicine, music, psychology and history to create an endlessly fascinating portrait of 1902 Vienna.”
“Brilliant.… Tallis can ratchet up the suspense.”
The Globe and Mail
“Gripping…. The clever plotting and quality writing elevate this above most other historicals.”
“Excellent.… Tallis handles his themes adroitly.”
—The Sunday Times
“Exhilarating…expertly crafted.… The layers of Viennese society are peeled away as delicately as the layers of each mouth-watering Viennese pastry that the portly Rheinhardt makes it his business to devour.”
—The Daily Telegraph
A Death in Vienna
“[An] elegant historical mystery… stylishly presented and intelligently resolved.”
The New York Times Book Review
“[A Death in “Vienna
is] a winner for its smart and fin-de-siècle portrait of the seat of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and for introducing Max Liebermann, a young physician who is feverish with the possibilities of the new science of psychoanalysis.”
The Washington Post
“Frank Tallis knows what he's writing about in this excellent mystery.… His writing and feel for the period are top class.”
“An engrossing portrait of a legendary period as well as a brain teaser of startling perplexity… In Tallis’ sure hands, the story evolves with grace and excitement.… A perfect combination of the hysterical past and the cooler—but probably more dangerous—present.”
“Holmes meets Freud in this enjoyable… whodunit.”
Also by Frank Tallis
A Death in Vienna
THE BAROQUE BALLROOM was filled with flowers. Beneath three radiant chandeliers more than a hundred couples were rotating in near-perfect synchrony. The men were dressed in black tails, piqué shirts, and white gloves, the women in gowns of tulle and crêpe de chine. On a raised platform a small orchestra was playing Strauss's Rosen aus iem Süien, and when the waltz king's famous heartwarming melody was reprised, a number of onlookers began a sympathetic humming chorus—smiling with recognition and benign sentimentality.
Liebermann felt Amelia Lyd gate s right hand tighten with anxiety in his left. A vertical line appeared on her forehead as she struggled to follow his lead.
“I do apologize, Dr. Liebermann. I am such a poor dancer.”
She was wearing a skirted décolleté gown of green velvet, and her flaming red hair was tied up in silver ribbons. The pale unblemished planes of her shoulders reminded the young doctor of polished Italian marble.
“Not at all,” said Liebermann. “You are doing very well for a novice. Might I suggest, however, that you listen more carefully to the music. The beat.”
The Englishwoman returned a puzzled expression. “The beat,” she repeated.
“Yes, can you not”—Liebermann paused, and made an effort to conceal his disbelief—“feel it?”
Liebermann s right hand pressed gently against Amelia's back, emphasizing the first accented beat in each bar. However, his guidance had no noticeable effect on her performance.
“Very well, then,” said Liebermann. “Perhaps you will find the following useful: the natural turn consists of three steps in which you move forward and rotate clockwise by one hundred and eighty degrees, followed by three steps in which you move backward and rotate again by one hundred and eighty degrees. For the forward turn you move forward on your right foot, rotating it to the right by ninety degrees, followed by your left foot, rotated another ninety degrees so that it is now facing backward.…”
Amelia stopped, tilted her head to one side, and considered these instructions. Then, looking directly into Liebermann s eyes, she said plainly: “Thank you, Dr. Liebermann, that is an altogether superior explanation. Let us proceed.”
Remarkably, when they began to dance again, Amelia’s movements were considerably more fluid.
“Excellent,” said Liebermann. “Now, if you lean back a little, we will be able to go faster.” Amelia did as she was instructed, and they began to revolve more rapidly. “I believe,” continued Liebermann, “that the optimal speed of the Viennese waltz is said to be approximately thirty revolutions per minute.” He saw Amelia glance at his exposed wristwatch. “However, I do not think it will be necessary for us to gauge our performance against this nominal ideal.”
As they swung by the orchestra, they were overtaken by a portly couple who—in spite of their ample physiques—danced with a nimbleness and grace that seemed to defy gravity.
“Good heavens,” said Amelia, unable to conceal her amazement. “Is that Inspector Rheinhardt?”
“It is,” said Liebermann, raising an eyebrow.
“He and his wife are very… accomplished.”
“They are indeed,” said Liebermann. “However, it is my understanding that Inspector Rheinhardt and his wife are more practiced than most. During Fasching not only do they attend this—the detectives’ ball—but they are also regular patrons of the waiters’ ball, the hatmakers’ ball, the philharmonic ball, and, as one would expect”—Liebermann smiled mischievously—”the good inspector has a particular fondness for the pastry makers’ ball.”
As they wheeled past a pair of carved gilt double doors, Liebermann saw a police constable enter the ballroom. His plain blue uniform and spiked helmet made him conspicuous among the elegant tailcoats and gowns. His cheeks were flushed and he looked as though he had been running. The young man marched directly over to Commissioner Brügel, who was standing next to the impeccably dressed Inspector Victor von Bulow and a party of guests from the Hungarian security office.
Earlier in the evening, Liebermann had tried to engage the Hungarians in some polite conversation but had found them rather laconic. He had ascribed their reserve to Magyar melancholy, a medical peculiarity with which he, and most of his colleagues in