Random House, Apr 12 2011, $15.00
In 1903 near the Court Theater, Constable Badem finds the corpse of a young woman. He takes control of the crime scene until Detective Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt arrives to investigate. The victim turns out to be nineteen years old model Adele Zeiler. The predator used a hairpin jammed into her brain while they were making love.
Stunned by his conclusion, Oskar asks Freud’s colleague Dr. Max Liebermann, who has collaborated with him before on odd investigations (see Vienna Secrets), to provide psychoanalysis to the case. Other women die in the same way as Max believes the insane murderer comes when he executes his lover at the pint of climax. With Vienna in panic as even the Emperor is upset with little progress at apprehending the fiend, Oskar and Max diligently work on finding a new type of killer; a sexual serial murderer is something the doctor has never heard of before.
The latest gaslight Vienna Liebermann mystery is a wonderful historical whodunit starring two friends who share a passion for justice and music, and a killer like none either the cop or the doc ever encountered before. Mindful of The Empty Mirror by J. Sydney Jones, fans of the series will enjoy Max’s problems with paving the way with what he believes is new ground for psychology and police work.