Author Frank Tallis
In 1902, a serial killer in Vienna embarks upon a bizarre campaign of murder. Detective Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt summons Dr. Max Liebermann to assist him with the case. The investigation draws them into the sphere of Vienna’s secret societies, in this second novel to feature literatures first psychoanalytic detective.
GEMS: Vienna Blood is the sequel to Death In Vienna. The beginning presents an intriguing case that is tossed at the reader like a scattered deck of cards and over a course of many pages, begins to form a well-played hand. Reminiscent of a Sherlock Holmes detective story, Vienna Blood is packed full of historical detail and delivers an intelligent and well-written mystery. Tallis draws on case comparisons to Jack the Ripper when tracking a serial killer. Also, other fascinating historical persons directly interact with main characters including Freud. This story is refreshingly cliché free, which can be a rare experience in crime stories.
FLAWS: Some readers may find the mystery rather slow-moving. In addition, a great many characters are presented and can be quite difficult to keep straight. This is further complicated by the references made to other fictional characters. Without the knowledge of the references, the ‘hint’s’ or expected conclusions may be lost on the reader. It takes some effort to understand which characters are important to remember and which ones are named for scenic purposes, or really weren’t necessary to name in the first place because they end up being insignificant. To fully enjoy the story, the reader may have to pause to look up plays, songs, operas and poems. This was a difficult novel to rate because the research and writing is a 4 star quality, but I simply did not find the book enjoyable. I chalk this up to my personal taste and not due to the author’s talent and therefore, have given it two ratings.