The Devil's Lieutenant Author:M. Fagyas The crime that rocked an empire struck in 1909, when a young officer in Franz Josef's army, passed over for promotion, was accused of mailing poisoned "aphrodisiac" capsules to ten members of the Impreial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Arym's General Staff. The agonizing death of the one officer who swallowed a capsule, Captain Richard Mader, not o... more »nly brought about an unsavory scandal in glittering Vienna but set off one of the most extraordinary investigations on record: the confrontation between Judge Advocate Emil Kunze and the accused, First Lieutenant Peter Dorfrichter. Kunze, facing the strikingly handsome, self-confident, intelligent Dorfrichter, had to admit that his suspect was a most unlikely murderer.
The battles of wit between the two men, their games of cat and mouse, their mutual dependence on each other, complicated by Kunze's growing emotional involvement with his suspect, became a cause celebre, ultimatley commanding the attention of Franz Josef himself. When the againg emperor ordered justice be done, no matter the cost to his empire or to Europe's oldest royal house, he helped set the stage for the collapse of his monarchy.
The Deveil's Lieutenant is a darkly compelling novel of the single-minded pursuit of justice and of a man whose major crime was seeing all too clearly the shape of the war that was to come and how it would destroy the very monarchy that it was his duty to protect. It presents, in vivid and unforgettable detail, a world of charm and enchantment facing disaster and is a brilliant study of the inflexible reasoning of men who would murder for it and who would, within the decade, see it crumble and disappear.« less
I was going to post this book when I first joined PBS but after realizing that I hadn't read it, I decided to do so. Ordinarily it is not the kind of book I'd be interested in....but as I started it, I became fascinated with the story and the characters. I'm glad I didn't pass up the chance to read this. Great story....great storyteller.