Book: A Death in Vienna
Author: Frank Tallis
Published: 2007 (Random House)
You know what I hate? When books set in the past have famous people either as minor characters or mentioned by the main (fictional) characters as a way of proving said fictional characters as ahead of their time. Like, “Oh, that Sigmund Freud, I bet one day the whole world will…” you get it. Then the stodgy old detective can be all, “Preposterous!” and prove that authority figures aren’t always right and in fact usually have their pipes stuck up their asses with having any character aspects of their own that actually proves it.
But that’s cheating! And you get that in this detective novel (I KNOW it’s been since like MIDDLE SCHOOL when we all used to eat Agatha Christie for lunch), but eh, sparingly enough to ignore for the larger mystery of who got the psychic lady pregnant and then killed her. Spoiler: I, uh, don’t remember. It was one of the dudes who went to her regular readings.
And okay but I do remember that they couldn’t find the bullet, and someone said it could’ve been made of ice, and I was all, “OH Y’ALL ARE GOING THERE, HUH?” but then they didn’t. Because it turns out the bullet was made of meat that just decayed with the rest of her. OF MEAT.
I was more focused on how this new-fangled Freud-follower was bugging his detective friend into figuring stuff out, and then getting confused himself over whether he really loved his new fiancé or not and what was the deal with his lady patient who was hysterical from getting raped at her old maid job but now that she was cured was studying blood and dude, he so had the hots for her BUT IT ENDED ON A SEX CLIFFHANGER. Or at least as much as one as a Victorian-set detective novel can.
What makes me want to keep the book is the nonfiction postscript about Freud and detective fiction because apparently he had a big influence over it and how forensic science was first portrayed. Apparently psychoanalysis was a precursor to physical forensics. Huh. Cool. So, bookshelf!