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The Luzern Photograph

370 pages5 hours


An infamous nineteenth-century photograph is the key to a modern murder mystery in this “clever psychological thriller” from the Edgar Award winner (Library Journal, starred review).

In 1882, the young Lou Andreas-Salomé—writer, psychoanalyst and femme fatale—appears with Friedrich Nietzsche and another man in a bizarre photograph taken in Luzern, Switzerland. Over thirty years later, an art student in Freud’s Vienna presents Lou Salomé with his own drawing based on the infamous photograph.
In present-day California, performance artist Tess Berenson learns that the previous occupant of her downtown Oakland loft was a professional dominatrix named Chantal—who apparently left in a hurry. Instantly fascinated, Tess’s curiosity only intensifies when Chantal’s body is discovered in the trunk of a stolen car at Oakland airport.
Embarking on an obsessive investigation, Tess discovers a link between Chantal and the original Luzern photograph. But as she gets closer to the shocking truth, Tess finds that she too is in jeopardy . . .
“Edgar winner Bayer continues his romance with psychoanalysis with a riff on Lou Andreas-Salomé’s persona as analyst and femme fatale . . . Nazis, sadomasochism, and psychoanalysis always provide a heady mix, and a little murder thrown in pushes Bayer’s latest into the radioactive zone.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Bayer chillingly and skillfully depicts the divide between good and evil. Suggest to Thomas Harris and Michael Connelly devotees.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“[A] crafty whodunit . . . Bayer keeps the suspense high as he artfully toggles among story lines and thoughtfully develops his characters” —Publishers Weekly

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