Vienna, 1904. The body of a man—still sitting in a chair—is discovered in an abandoned piano factory on the outskirts of the city. He has been shot dead but his face has been horribly disfigured with acid, making identification impossible. In front of the body are three chairs positioned conspicuously in a straight line. Who were the former occupants? Had they sat in judgement and pronounced a sentence of death? Detective Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt calls on his good friend, Doctor Max Liebermann—psychiatrist and disciple of Sigmund Freud—to assist in an investigation that draws them both into the shadowy and sexually unconventional world of fringe political activism.
Frank Tallis is a writer and clinical psychologist. Between 1999 and 2012, he received or was nominated for numerous awards, including the New London Writers' Award, the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, the Elle Prix de Letrice, the Crime Writers' Association Historical Dagger Award, and two Edgar Allan Poe Awards. Under the name F. R. Tallis, he is the author of The Sleep Room, The Forbidden, The Voices, and The Passenger, all available from Pegasus Crime. He lives in London.