Vienna, 1913. Lysander Rief, a young English actor in town seeking psychotherapy for a troubling ailment of a sexual nature, becomes caught up in a feverish affair with a beautiful, enigmatic woman. When she goes to the police to press charges of rape, … see full wiki
I really enjoyed this novel of Europe during the period of the 1910's. Lysander Reif is a British actor in Vienna looking for a Psychiatrist to help him cure his sexual dysfunction. While visiting the doctor he encounters another patient (Hettie) who he then get involved in a very tempestuous relationship with. The problem is that Lysander is engaged to Blanche back in London and has to figure out what to do.
The situation gets more complicated when Lysander is jailed for a crime against Hettie and even though he knows he is innocent, he cannot defend himself because to do so would hurt Heddy. Lysander get help form some British operatives in the Embassy in Vienna, but having their help means he will be indebted to them for the rest of his life.
The author does a marvelous job of developing Lysander's character and though he makes a lot of bad choices, the reader sympathizes with him and wants him to be happy. As was pointed out by some of the other reviewers, the story started out with Lysander trying to cure his issue and find happiness and then it turns into a political mystery/ thriller than Lysander finds himself in the middle of. There still remains little tidbits of Lysander's evolving psyche throughout the story that continue to pop up. I felt that this book had a great feel, like the recent Carlos Zafon books(Shadow of the Wind, The Angel's Game), without the mysticism. If you enjoyed those books you will really like this one!
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