- Publisher: Putnam Pub Group (June 1970)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399102086
- ISBN-13: 978-0399102080
- Package Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,024,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Devil's Lieutenant Hardcover – June, 1970
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The Devil's Lieutenant is quite a perfect example of historical novel, because the author's understanding of its era and all sorts of details appears very credible. More importantly, the historical background of the novel was interwoven seamlessly into the story - or moreover, the story was born of its historical background. The reason why I wasn't entirely thrilled by the novel - even though it turned out to be a real page-turner and the writing is of excellent quality - is perhaps its report-like style. It deals with really big, dark and emotional issues, but somehow they were left a bit distant. Although I could feel for the characters, I couldn't feel them.
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Top customer reviews
The late Maria Fagyas was a wonderful writer who gives us a timeless portrait of a bygone era. The 2 main characters; Emil Kunze and Peter Dorfricter; are finely drawn and multidimensional. Her description of pre World War 1 Vienna is fascinating.
The book is not simply a detective story but also a historical novel and character study. It should be back in print.
You get a fine view of Austria and especially Vienna in 1909. War is in the air, and there is an appetite for the army to invade the Balkans. What is particularly interesting is the portrayal of social life in the K und K officer corps, and that the case is handled by the military rather than the civilian police. Emperor Franz Josef is not anti-semetic and does not want war: his son, Archduke Ferdinand is the opposite. Both want the case handled so it doesn't reflect bady on the army. Kunze finds a suspect, who was 18th in the class and thus not promoted and given a position in the General Staff. But in military cases, circumstantial evidence is not sufficient for a death sentence, unlike a civilian case. Better evidence or a confession is needed, or, preferably, the suspect is put in a room with a loaded revolver with the suggestion about doing the honorable thing.
Kunze is a fascinating character--both independent of the pressures from his superiors and the royalty, and as dogged as Inspector Javert in Les Miserables. He wants to see justice done. The writing is excellent. You don't have any dramatic chase scenes or bloody shootouts, but there's never a time when the plot seems slow. It's a different view. It's not exactly a classic mystery, but rather a mystery with a strong commentary on the military and social life at the time. Highly recommended.
M.Fagyas is incredible and deserves accolades and applause for her amazing novel based on the astro-hungarian empire.
An amazing crime which rocked the empire in 1909.
An officer who was passed over for promotion(Peter Dorfrichter)was accused of mailing poisoned "aphrodisiac" capscules to 10 members of the army general staff.The death of captain Richard Mader triggers of an investigation which is actually a battle of wits between the accused and the Judge Advocate Captain Emil Kunze.The novel is stunning and a must for all book lovers.M.Fagyas has her biggest fan in me. I highly recommend this book to all and hope that they bless me!The novel is a real page turner, which keeps you hooked and glued and dosent let you sit still. It is skilfully written and just keeps going on and on .... a pure work of a master story teller!. Go ahead book lovers! get your copy today!!!(iIf you havent read this then you are surely missing out something!!!!!