Vienna Twilight: A Max Liebermann Mystery

Frank Tallis, Author
Frank Tallis, Random, $15 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-8129-8100-1
Reviewed on: 01/17/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
A so-so serial killer story line mars British author Tallis's fifth novel pairing Viennese psychoanalyst Max Liebermann and Det. Insp. Oskar Rheinhardt (after 2010's Vienna Secrets). When someone drives a hatpin into the brain of a 19-year-old artist's model, Adele Zeiler, Liebermann, a colleague of Sigmund Freud, helps with the murder inquiry. Zeiler is but the first victim of a sick individual who appears to carry out his precise executions as part of a perverse sexual ritual. With the killings causing a panic in Vienna, Rheinhardt's boss is impatient for results even before the Austrian emperor expresses frustration that the crimes remain unsolved. The two companionable main characters, who share a love for music, will remind Patrick O'Brian fans of Aubrey and Maturin, but the few less-than-shocking twists aren't enough to distinguish this from the many serial killer historicals that have tried to repeat the success of Caleb Carr's The Alienist. (Apr.)
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