I can’t tell you that I read this novel for my usual reason – as anyone who follows my reviews knows, I’m trying to help other new authors and to build the “platform” of people who would be interested in reading my own historical novel, 3 Through History, also available at Amazon.
Frank Tallis doesn’t need my review, but it turned out that I needed to read his book! Tallis’s Vienna is the city of Mahler and Freud, where the forensic psychiatrist and the detective were using psychiatric tips that make Sir Arthur Conan Doyle look like a hack, but lacking any forensic physical tools except a keen eye and a canny wit. As a former opera singer myself, I read with a certain degree of personal investment when Mahler appeared in the script. A rivalry between a rising star with deep psychological and sensual needs and a seemingly perfect, established star would appeal to anyone, not just a musician, but in fact, I know almost all the music referenced in the novel. Now there’s a good one. All the other details of the Viennese society described in this book matched dead-on with what I had learned from my experience in opera, singing Wagner.
If you are the kind of reader who likes a convincing murder mystery, and any unfamiliar trappings get in your way, you would find this book tedious. But if you are any other kind of mystery reader, or a reader of historical fiction for whom the mystery is only one way to structure the book, you will revel in the historical accuracy where you walk the streets of Vienna, and take the train to the various other locales that our heroes have to visit, you will revel in the opportunity to travel in place and time.