Richard Lord

Strangler's Waltz

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Vienna 1913: The capital of a sprawling empire, Vienna is also one of the world's most cultured and vibrant cities. It's a city devoted to the swank//grand pursuit of life's pleasures. But suddenly, the city is shaken when a vicious serial killer who targets young, attractive women starts a reign of terror. And leaves no useful clues behind. Before long, residents of Vienna are terrified that their city has spawned its own Jack the Ripper. Assigned to the case are two of Vienna's top police inspectors, Julian Stebbel and Karl-Heinz Drfner. Both excellent detectives, Stebbel and Drfner also form an engaging odd couple. Another snag, besides this team's unstable chemistry, is the fact that this is 1913, when fingerprinting is still a crude forensics tool in its infancy and the typewriter is a high-tech contraption most Viennese try to avoid where possible. The methodology of Stebbel and Drfner is, of necessity, much closer to Sherlock Holmes' than it is to the work of modern CSI teams with all the tools of modern crime-fighting at their disposal. So will these crack Viennese detectives be able to take down this killer before he adds more innocent victims to his gruesome list? With pressure being steadily applied on them by politicians, an unforgiving press corps and their superiors in the police department, Stebbel and Drfner must finally call upon the skills of two real-life figures who were actually living and working in Vienna at that time: Sigmund Freud, the most famous psychiatrist in the world; and another, even more unlikely hero, a young artist toiling in obscurity who will later achieve even greater fame than Freud albeit in a field other than art.
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