The author of the much-loved and bestselling memoir, Too Close to the Falls, now brings us a novel of international intrigue, centred on the Freud Archives, in which two ex-cons are hand-picked to investigate an upstart archivist with plans to upset the entire psychoanalytic applecart.
Kate Fitzgerald has served nearly a decade of a life sentence for murdering her husband. While incarcerated she has put her restless brain to use by reading all of Freud’s works and has become known in academic circles as an expert. Her prison psychiatrist offers her parole if she agrees to find out what archivist and womanizer Anders Konzak plans to reveal in the forthcoming, unexpurgated Freud-Fliess correspondence. Kate’s partner in the investigation is to be Jackie Lawton, a violent bank robber who has been in jail most of his life, but who now works as a private detective, having finally shed his criminal past – at least that’s his story. Jackie and Kate are charged with discovering what Konzak has found that will, as he boasts, “make psychoanalysis obsolete.” He has already publicly impugned Freud’s famous seduction theory; what could be next?
The novel takes us from Toronto to Vienna, London, the Isle of Wight, small-town New York and back again to Toronto. Along the way we meet an assortment of characters, from misfits to the demure but resolute Anna Freud, still living in the London house where she brought her ailing father for the last year of his life, and where she actively guards his legacy.
Told with wit and erudition, this accessible and thrilling page-turner is an intellectual delight and a detective story of outstanding ingenuity.