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Title: A Death in Vienna

Writer: Frank Tallis

Publisher: Qanita (2007)

Pages: 574 p

Bought from Ferina

A gifted and beautiful medium was found murdered in her apartment in Vienna. The locked room,  strange message, no weapon, and no bullet found inside her body (although there was a gunshot wound), made this case more and more mysterious. Rumors spread out, making people wondered, is it true that she made a deal with the devil, and this is some kind of curse?

Detective and Police Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt tried so hard to prove this rumors wrong, and not to believe in supernatural explanations. That’s why he asked help from his psychiatrist friend, Max Lieberman, who was also a student of Sigmund Freud. Setting in the late 19 century, where superstitious people were everywhere and psychoanalysis was still a new thing, this book showed how hard it was to work with facts and science in the middle of unscientific society.

Even though the plot was a bit bland and slow, some interesting characters helped making the story more alive. They were the inner circle of the medium, and each of them kept a suspicious secret. Mysterious lover, jealous wife, hopeless admirer. Banker, politicians, key maker. Everybody had a motive to kill the medium.

I kinda like the deduction method of Lieberman, especially when he played with psychology of the victim and the suspects. The setting was interesting as well. Vienna in that time was beautiful, and Freud was still a phenomenon. This book is actually a first from Lieberman Papers series, currently on the sixth book already. I don’t really like the translated version cover though. Gave me shudders…and not in a good way!