Upon spying a female neighbor, Dr. Anton Beer - the main character in Dan Vyleta's novel, The Quiet Twin
- muses that she "seemed half child, half village tart. Another sort of man... might long have contrived to hasten the transformation." It's only human nature to believe Beer; we have no reason not to believe him, although his observation creates an element of doubt. It leads us to ask: What kind of man is he? Is he honorable? Lustful? Maybe both? Although ostensibly a murder mystery, the deaths in The Quiet Twin
pale in comparison to the intrigue created by Vyleta's characters, all struggling for survival under the threat of Nazi persecution, all with something to hide.
The setting is Vienna, when World War II "was six weeks old, and glorious; Austria a proud part of the Reich." However, fear looms around the apartment building where Beer lives. A series...
Beyond the Book
In 1938, the Nazis annexed Austria in what is known as the Anschluss
, the "link-up" or "union". In their pursuit of a "pure" Aryan master race, they immediately began arresting anyone of difference or who might oppose them, especially Jews. According to the Vienna City Administration website, Nazi-incited pogroms in November 1938 essentially obliterated Jewish culture in Vienna.
When Dan Vyleta's The Quiet Twin
begins, most of Vienna's Jews had already been deported or had fled. In one scene, he leads the reader through an abandoned house; the Jewish owners had "left... gone since winter." The edifice is an apocalyptic urbanscape with "broken windows and shattered light bulbs, angry slogans scrawled across the floor." The main character, Dr. Beer, remembers...