My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
The body of a man—still sitting in a chair—is discovered in an abandoned piano factory on the outskirts of the city. He has been shot dead but his face has been horribly disfigured with acid, making identification impossible. In front of the body are three chairs positioned conspicuously in a straight line. Who were the former occupants? Had they sat in judgement and pronounced a sentence of death?
Detective Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt calls on his good friend Doctor Max Lieberman—psychiatrist and disciple of Sigmund Freud—to assist in an investigation that draws them both into the shadowy and sexually unconventional world of fringe political activism. It is a world populated by Bohemians, Utopian idealists, and anarchists, many of whom endorse acts of terror to achieve their revolutionary aims.
When bomb-making equipment is found in a suburban basement, the sinister Imperial intelligence bureau (who have been secretly monitoring Rheinhardt’s investigation) make themselves known. A legendary anarchist known only by his code name—Mephistopheles—is abroad in Vienna. An appalling act of terror has been planned and time is running out. Rheinhardt must hope that Liebermann, with his profound knowledge of psychology and science, will be able to prevent the coming catastrophe.
The latest novel in the iconic Max Lieberman mystery series, Mephisto Waltz is a tale of murder, romance, intrigue, and espionage set in the atmospheric world of fin de siecle Vienna.
Mephisto Waltz is the kind of book that I adore because of its dark and mysterious feeling. It's a time of tumult, with anarchist wanting to change the world. The story takes place just a couple of years after the assassinating of Empress Elisabeth of Austria who btw made a small, but important cameo in the prologue. Her husband and yes even Sigmund Freud also makes cameo appearances in the book.
As for Oscar Rheinhardt and Max Lieberman did I instantly like the way they worked together, how Rheinhardt often got Lieberman's help to analyze a suspect. I mean for instance; why is the man biting his fingernails? There must be some darker meaning to it.
There is so much I enjoyed about this book, the cameos of real people, Lieberman romantic life, the suffragette moment, the murder mystery, etc. Altogether it made me truly enjoy this book and I can't wait to read the first book!
I want to thank the Pegasus Books for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!