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Lysander Rief thought he had problems before he went to Vienna in
1913, while seeking psychological help for an odd sexual problem, it was
nothing compared to the quandary he was in when he left the city. The
English actor met Hettie Ball, a high strung sculptor, in the
doctor’s office and one thing led to another.
Hettie gets pregnant she claims Lysander raped her and he is
arrested. Facing a scandalous trial, the actor manages to escape the
authorities with the help of some folks at the British Consulate.
fast forward and Lysander is back in London and has resumed his stage
career when the war breaks out. Since he speaks flawless German,
Lysander becomes a translator for internees but the intelligence
service quickly enlists him to work for them.
little choice in the matter because of the affair in Vienna, Lysander
agrees since it appears to be “pay back” time. He is sent to
Geneva to locate a traitor and there he again encounters his Viennese
plot thickens, the British spy finds he’s reliving the past as he
pursues a stranger who has some disturbing connections to his own
family’s past. He’ll need all his acting skills and some of what
he learned in Vienna to accomplish this assignment and also cope with
a few ancestral ghosts he encounters.
against the cultures and customs of Edwardian England and Hapsburg,
Austria, this many faceted novel contains some curious twists that
will keep the reader riveted to the story until its surprising end.
And, yes, Sigmund Freud does make a cameo appearance as one might
expect in a tale of this ilk.