The Quiet Twin, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Vienna, 1939. Professor Speckstein's dog has been brutally killed and he wants to know why.

But these are uncharitable times and one must be careful where one probes...When an unexpected house call leads Doctor Beer to Speckstein's apartment, he finds himself in the bedroom of Zuzka, the professor's niece.

Wide-eyed, flirtatious, and not detectably ill, Zuzka leads the young doctor to her window and opens up a view of their apartment block that Beer has never known.

Across the shared courtyard there is nine-year-old Anneliese, the lonely daughter of an alcoholic.

Five windows to the left lives a secretive mime who comes home late at night and keeps something - or someone - precious hidden from view.

From the garret drifts the mournful sound of an Oriental's trumpet, and a basement door swings closed behind the building's inscrutable janitor. Does one of these enigmatic neighbours have blood on their hands? Doctor Beer, who has his own reasons for keeping his private life hidden from public scrutiny, reluctantly becomes embroiled in an enquiry that forces him to face the dark realities of Nazi rule.




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This is an extremely well written book set in Vienna in 1939. The plot and the murders actually seem more of a background to the paranoia that surrounded those who felt they had something to fear from Hitler and his SS. A time when a knock on the door was a frightening event, and the people inhabiting an apartment building surrounding a courtyard, find much to occupy themselves with by spying on the others living in the complex. Small nuances take on a sinister tone when a dog is killed and four women are found dead. It seems that everyone has something to hide in this darkly complex novel.

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