The Luzern Photograph

William Bayer. Severn, $29.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8546-3
Three narratives propel Bayer’s crafty whodunit. In the present, performance artist Tess Berenson has just moved into an Oakland, Calif., apartment that was previously occupied by a professional dominatrix, Chantal Desforges. Tess, who realizes she met Chantal at a kickboxing class, is hit hard when she learns the woman was murdered. In 1912, a strange man displays an obsessive interest in Lou Andreas-Salomé, a prominent intellectual, who numbers both Nietzsche and Rilke among her romantic conquests and who has come to Vienna to study with Freud. Her pursuer became interested in Lou after learning of the eponymous photo, taken in 1882, in which she posed with two men—one of them Nietzsche—harnessed to a cart as if they were animals. Extracts from the unpublished memoirs of Maj. Ernst Fleckstein, a Nazi fixer, who crosses paths with Lou in the 1930s, add another layer to the puzzle. Bayer (Blind Side) keeps the suspense high as he artfully toggles among story lines and thoughtfully develops his characters. Agent: George Lucas, Inkwell Management Literary Agency. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/16/2015
Release date: 01/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-78010-708-0
Hardcover - 432 pages - 978-0-7278-9451-9
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