The Quiet Twin: A Novel
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Vienna, 1939. Professor Speckstein's dog has been brutally killed, the latest victim in a string of unsolved murders. Speckstein wants answers-but these are uncharitable times, and one must be careful where one probes …
When an unexpected house call leads Dr. 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 a trumpet player, and a basement door swings closed behind the building's inscrutable janitor.
Does one of these enigmatic neighbors have blood on their hands?
Dr. Beer, who has his own reasons for keeping his private life hidden from public scrutiny, reluctantly becomes embroiled in an inquiry that forces him to face the dark realities of Nazi rule. By turns chilling and tender, The Quiet Twin explores a dystopian world of social paranoia, mistrust, and fear-and the danger of staying silent.
Praise for The Quiet Twin:
"A compelling rumination on watching and watchfulness, served up with Nabokovian glee." -Guardian (UK )
"A striking, pitch-perfect, wonderfully atmospheric and beautifully written ensemble piece that subtly portrays a society on the brink of moral collapse."-Sunday Telegraph (UK )
without the prior written permission of the publisher. Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages Bloomsbury Publishing, London, Berlin, New York and Sydney 50 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 9781408811252 www.bloomsbury.com/danvyleta Visit www.bloomsbury.com to find out more about our authors and their
‘But I don’t want to! If you don’t want to play, I will go by myself.’ Zuzka watched this display of temper with consternation and glanced up at the girl’s flat, trying to judge whether the lights had been turned on. There was little one could see from the yard. ‘Is your father home?’ she asked the girl, who had begun to pull at the satchel in Zuzka’s hand, repeating that she would play by herself. Lieschen let go of the heavy bag, hung her head with something like shame. ‘He’s sick,’ she
butcher, like her mother’s father in the photograph with the torn edge, like the man who shouted on the radio and wore the stump of a moustache. It was a stupid name, but pretty, too, because like hers it started with an A. The girl arrived. She put down Yussuf, unlocked the door, pushed it open with both hands. As always, Lieschen called ahead into the flat and – as so often – she received no answer. All was quiet, only the music of a gramophone carried from across the yard, French horns
sorry.’ The clock struck 9.30. Exhausted, unable to bear the wait any longer, Anton Beer ran out of Eva’s room, threw on his dinner jacket, locked up Lieschen in the study, and went downstairs to join the party. Chapter 5 Beer was met by the first signs of the party no sooner had he stepped out his door. Noises rose within the stairwell, of drunken men shouting, laughing, breaking into song. Halfway down, a youth of eighteen, nineteen years was sitting on a step, his body bent double,
injury from casual observation. For a good few hours yet, there was to be little such observation, casual or other. At the moment of the man’s fall, the yard had but a single occupant, a burly, forty-seven-year-old Japanese male with a pockmarked exterior whom his neighbours routinely, if not maliciously, identified by a racial epithet pertaining to the Chinese. We know him as Herr Yuu. He had stepped into the yard from the narrow door leading to the apartment building’s side wing (of which he