Frank Tallis is a clinical psychologist, and Max Liebermann, the protagonist of his series of detective stories (The Liebermann Papers) set in early 20th century Vienna, is a disciple of Freud. Fatal Lies is the third book in this series. It is Vienna, 1903. In St. Florian's military school, a rambling edifice set high in the hills of the City's famous woods, a young cadet is found dead - his body lacerated with razor wounds. Once again, Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt calls on his friend - and disciple of Freud - Doctor Max Liebermann, to help him with the investigation. In the closed society of the school, power is everything - and suspicion falls on an elite group of cadets, with a penchant for sadism and dangerous games. When it is discovered that the dead boy was a frequent guest of the deputy headmaster's attractive young wife - other motives for murder suggest themselves. A tangled web of relationships is uncovered, at the heart of which are St. Florian's dark secrets, which Liebermann, using new psychoanalytic tools such as dream interpretation and the ink-blot test, begins to probe.
The earlier two books in the series, Vienna Blood and Mortal Mischief, are well written and enjoyable, and the BBC are working on television adaptations, which may be an indicator of wider public interest to come. At present, the second novel of the series is more difficult to obtain than the first (at least signed), which may be indicative of a smaller print run.
Max Liebermann Novels
Mortal Mischief Century, 2005)
Vienna Blood (Century, 2006)
Fatal Lies (Century, 2008)
Darkness Rising (Century, 2009)
Killing Time (Hamish Hamilton, 1999) softcover
Sensing Others (Hamish Hamilton, 2000) softcover
How to Stop Worrying (Sheldon Press, 1990)
Hidden Minds: A History of the Unconscious (Arcade, 2002)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A Cognitive and Neuropsychological Perspective (Wiley, 1995)
Changing Minds: The History of Psychotherapy as an Answer to Human Suffering (Sage Press, 1998)
Understanding Obsessions and Compulsions: A Self-help Manual (Sheldon Press, 1992)
Monday, 3 March 2008
Posted by Trapnel at 00:23