Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by M.J. Rose

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7783-2584-0
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Memories of previous lives that include some rather tense negotiations with a great 19th-century composer send a young woman to Vienna, where a very unhappy reporter hopes to blow up the Philharmonic.

Rose (The Reincarnationist, 2008, etc.) fails to resist the temptation to tie her moody but attractive heroine’s karma to an immensely interesting historical figure rather than the much more likely run of hog butchers and pony farmers that populate most people’s pasts. In the case of Meer Logan, the monumental figure whose path she crossed at the Congress of Vienna is Ludwig van Beethoven. Haunted since childhood by dark but immensely interesting episodes from an exciting back story, Meer has learned from her therapist enough wobbly control tips to keep from slipping into madness. Now her father, a dealer in Judaica, has located in Vienna the very puzzle box that recurs time and again in her frightening dreams. Tucked away in the box is a letter from the great Ludwig Van that might answer the mystery of the whereabouts of a sort of Magic Flute. It’s not the pleasant Mozartean whistle, though. It’s the modified bone of yet another figure from Meer’s past, an Indian lover of four millennia ago, and this bit of custom carving can send almost anyone who hears it into paroxysms of memory-induced horror. She heads to Vienna to find that musical bone, but almost immediately upon our stressed-out heroine’s arrival in the old Hapsburg capital, bodies begin to drop and Meer realizes that she’s being hunted. Helping her to dodge the heavies is the Philharmonic’s handsome first-chair oboist. As the metronome ticks away the seconds, a bereft reporter, his Israeli family having been blown up by terrorists, sets a time bomb in the largely forgotten Roman ruins under the Philharmonic, thereby dispatching the security mavens who have rented the fabled concert hall.

Confused? Few readers will care enough to unravel this ridiculous plot.