Sunday, March 14, 2010

Book Review: Vienna Secrets

Title Vienna Secrets: A Max Liebermann Mystery (Mortalis)
Author Frank Tallis
Rating ****
Tags mystery, series, vienna, 1903, freud, judiasm, kaballah 

The fourth in Tallis' series of Max Liebermann mysteries. Liebermann is a psychoanalyst, a non-religious Jew, in Vienna in the early 20th century. He has been of great use to police detective Oskar Rheinhardt. Rheinhardt calls on Liebermann when the body of a decapitated monk is found - the head torn off, not cut, a feat beyond the strength of one man. The monk, Brother Stanislav, had written articles for an anti-Semitic newspaper. When a second body is found, that of an anti-Semitic politician, Max is forced to delve into his Jewish roots and the myths and mysticism of Judaism. Meanwhile he is dealing with an incident in his professional life that is exacerbated by anti-Semitism and may cost him his job.

I had read and enjoyed the first in this series, and this fourth novel does not disappoint. Tallis creates convincing characters and situations while painting an excellent picture of turn of the century Vienna, of psychoanalysis in its state then in the city of Freud, and the portents of the Holocaust to come. The myth of the golem serves well as a unifying theme for all these disparate elements. Recommended.

Publication Random House Trade Paperbacks (2010), Edition: Original, Paperback, 400 pages
Publication date 2010
ISBN 0812980999 / 9780812980998

Posted via web from reannon's posterous

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