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The Quiet Twin

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  367 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
A tale of political paranoia, dangerous liaisons and defiant compassion, 'The Quiet Twin' is an unforgettable journey into a cityscape of totalitarian dread and deception.
Paperback, 392 pages
Published 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jaidee
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those that relish being frightened
Recommended to Jaidee by: a dark maiden who digs Wagner and psychoanalysis
Shelves: five-stars-books
5 "grotesque, macabre, nihilistic" stars !!!

Whew....lordy lordy lordy....this was obscene and obscenely magnificent !!

Late 1930's Vienna. A series of murders in a neighbourhood. Are they linked or random ?? Is it a serial killer or opportunistic murders done for a bit of money ?? There are many witnesses yet all are silent or are they ??

A small apartment complex. A disgraced doctor and Nazi spy. His hysterical niece with a conversion disorder. His bitter and sneaky housekeeper. A paralyzed woma
...more
Susan
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is set around a group of apartment buildings in Vienna, during October and November 1939. The characters range from a doctor, a disgraced professor and his niece, a mime artist, a janitor, a young hunchbacked girl and a Japanese trumpeter, amongst others. In other words, a cross section of people, living side by side in dangerous times and many with secrets to hide.

Dr Anton Beer is asked to visit the disgraced professor, Speckstein, who asks him to investigate the murder of his dog. B
...more
Liviu
As I will have a full FBC rv close to its publication next year (I read an earc of the US edition, though the UK edition is out) only some points:

- a very dark novel written in a somewhat whimsical tone that most of the time tones down the horrors

- excellent atmosphere and memorable characters mostly set in a Viennese housing complex that in the spirit of the times mixed the better off with working poor and was supervised in the name of the Reich by a chief administrator/informer that worked han
...more
Kelly
Oct 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picked by my book club. This tale is set in 1939 Vienna where the country is under Nazi regime in World War II. The story opens with the killing of a dog. The dogs owner is a landlord of an apartment complex which inhabits a real mix of fascinating, intriguing characters many with secrets themselves.
Throw in to mix a few recent murders in the local area and now a police investigation is taking place at a time when people do not want to talk and a knock on the door is terrifying!. So, heightened
...more
Krista
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: can-con, 2014, war, favourites
From the Author's Note at the end of The Quiet Twin, Dan Vyleta states:

My primary interest in this book belonged with the army of opportunists whose crimes at times were as grave in their consequences as those perpetrated by the true believers. Sixty-five years after the Second World War it is easy for most of us to convince ourselves that we could never have belonged amongst those who would have held wrong-headed beliefs; it is a more nagging question to wonder what one might have done in orde
...more
Laurie
Vienna 1939, after the Anschluss, is a place of suspicion with neighbors informing on neighbors and so-called average citizens slowly slipping down the slope of ethical behavior while feeling as though they have no choice. This is the Vienna of The Quite Twin as studied in microcosm through the residents of an apartment building; all of whom have windows peering out onto a central courtyard giving each one a partial view into the lives of others. The cast of engaging characters includes an aging ...more
Judith
Dec 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
...captures the paranoia endemic to society in Vienna..October 1939

What begins as an investigation into the killing of a neighbor's dog.....leads one Doctor Beer into the darker aspects of the lives of his neighbors. The diversity of social classes living in one apartment complex...surrounding a courtyard..

In this time and place...everyone had secrets..and would kill to keep them

Doctor Beer treats a young woman with sexual issues...a neighbor across the courtyard is caring for a "mentally defect
...more
Danny
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
This is a book that fell from nowhere and blew me out of the water.

It's 1939 in Vienna, and the residents of a large, rambling apartment building are uneasy. The professor's dog has been violently killed, and a number of murders in the area seem to share the same hallmarks. Across the yard the professor's niece, the doctor, the janitor, the drunk's daughter, the trumpet player, and the clown all stare and wonder. Who is responsible? Who will be next?

When the police start nosing around, the tensi
...more
Danny
Feb 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-book
This is a book that fell from nowhere and blew me out of the water.

It is 1939 in Vienna, and the residents of a large, rambling apartment building are uneasy. The professor's dog has been violently killed, and a number of other murders in the area seem to share the same hallmarks. Across the yard the professor's niece, the doctor, the janitor, the drunk's daughter, the trumpet player, and the clown all stare and wonder. Who is responsible? Who will be next?

When the police start nosing around, th
...more
Billy
Jun 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roman noir tout en nuances... Tout est dans l'ambiance qui se développe tout doucement . Un style unique . Belle découverte ...
Adam Pearson
I lost the plot somewhere in some convoluted paragraph or other, which are good if you are in the mood.
Monica
Jul 11, 2012 rated it liked it
I found this book to be simultaneously fascinating and repellent. The murdered dog, and the murdered women. The mime and his paralyzed, mute twin sister - I hate mimes. The precocious hunchbacked 10 year old and her drunken, abusive, later murdered father. The neurasthenic college student and her disgraced sex offender Nazi uncle. The ineffectual doctor and the brutal cop - don't read this book expecting to like anyone. The nasty soup that resulted from the overlaying of Freudianism, spiritualis ...more
Val
Aug 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: discuss-it
The book follows the lives of several people living in an apartment block in Vienna. The wealthier residents have grander apartments facing the street, the poorer ones live in smaller places around a courtyard behind the facade. This means the lives of all social classes and wealth levels are intertwined and is an arrangement not found in most cities (which tend to segregate more).
The time is 1939, a year after the Anschluss, and the Nazis are in power. There is a climate of mutual suspicion, no
...more
Van
May 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Quiet Twin is set in an apartment complex in Vienna in 1939, early in World War II. A series of bizarre murders have occured in the city. When a dog belonging to the building's owner is found dead, he asks a resident physician to investigate. He is aided by the landlord's niece, whose curiosity and budding sexuality seem destined to get her into trouble; also by a hunchbacked little girl with remarkable gifts of perception.

The characters' habit of watching one another across the courtyard of
...more
Ainsley
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I first heard of this book while listening to the BBC Radio 4 programme "A Good Read." The panelist who picked The Quiet Twin said something to the effect that he couldn't put the book down once he started it and he loved it so much that he promptly went out to be everything else Dan Vyleta has written (which unfortunately isn't a lot, yet). The other people on the show had exactly the same reaction, and now that I have read it, I know why. Set in Nazi-occupied Vienna, the novel concerns the occ ...more
El
Sep 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, audiobook
Reading the blurb about this book I didn't expect to like it but I was wrong. This is a novel set in Vienna in 1939, populated by unsympathetic characters who are all watching and being watched in turn, all with their own secrets and eccentricities. Add to this the fear and mistrust that living under Nazi rule begets and you have a novel which shudders with tension and misgivings. Some of the plot was hard to believe and some of it unpleasant to read but the sum total of its components was an ex ...more
Diane S ☔
Mar 14, 2012 rated it liked it
3.5 This is an extremely well written book set in Vienna in 1939. The plot and the murders actually seem more of a background to the paranoia that surrounded those who felt they had something to fear from Hitler and his SS. A time when a knock on the door was a frightening event, and the people inhabiting an apartment building surrounding a courtyard, find much to occupy themselves with by spying on the others living in the complex. Small nuances take on a sinister tone when a dog is killed and ...more
Lee
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written and set but oddly hard going.
Steven Buechler
May 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A macabre yet gripping tale about 1939 Vienna.

Page 42
"Her hunger sated, she looked under the sink to see how many bottles there were left. Her father got angry when they ran out and it was her responsibility to look after supplies. She counted one bottle of schnapps, and five of beer; three fingers' worth of Hungarian wine. It would do, but she'd have to run and buy some more tomorrow after school from the fat, smiling vendor across from the church. The money and ration coupons were in the drawe
...more
Garry
Dec 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Quiet Twin is set in a Viennese group of dwellings in the early years of WWII. The owner of the complex is a man who has fallen out of favor with society following a scandal, but had the means to escape total ruin. His dog has been brutally murdered - as have several people in the district. One of the residents, the handsome Dr Anton Beer, has some knowledge of criminal psychology and is conscripted by a thuggish police inspector to help solve the crimes.

That sounds like a fairly interestin
...more
Peter Boysen
May 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
If you look at newsreels from the Second World War, it feels like 200 or 300 years have gone by. The very idea of a European country trying to take over all of its neighbors, and then shove millions of the conquered into death camps and eliminate them, without the rest of the world knowing, is simply inconceivable. The World Wide Web has made too much of the world transparent for things like to happen, except perhaps in parts of Africa. Even the Chinese are having a hard time keeping their prote ...more
Patricia
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Suspense and murder mystery novel set in Vienna from October-November 1939 in an apartment block. Residents are Dr. Josef Speckstein, his visiting niece Zuzka, and his maid Frau Martha Vesalius; Dr. Anton Beer whose wife, Gudran, has recently left him for Switzerland; Tobias Grotter, a drunk, and his physically deformed daughter Anneliese "Lieschen;" Mr. Masuko Yuu of Japanese origin; the unnamed janitor; Otto Frei and his disabled sister, Eva. Reminiscent of Hitchcock's "The Rear Window" all is ...more
Charles
This story takes place in 1939 Vienna, under the Nazi regime, and involves a cast of characters some of whom will appear in his later postwar novel "The crooked Maid" which I read 1st. There is the same "noir movie" atmosphere-brooding, threatening, and filled with violence, murder, corruption, drunkenness, in the shadow-filled setting of a somewhat dingy section of Vienna. We are introduced to Dr. Anton Beer-psychiatrist doing general practice, Lieschen the little girl with spinal deformity(the ...more
Carol
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
Vienna, 1939. Professor Speckstein's dog has been brutally killed and he wants to know why. But these are uncharitable times and one must be careful where one probes...When an unexpected house call leads Doctor Beer to Speckstein's apartment, he finds himself in the bedroom of Zuzka, the professor's niece. Wide-eyed, flirtatious, and not detectably ill, Zuzka leads the young doctor to her window and opens up a view of their apartment block that Beer has never known. Across the shared courtyard t ...more
Kiana
Oct 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finishing the book and reflecting on the content: What did I just read?
I'm not looking at this book in a bad way, it definitely wasn't dull and flat but rather it was interesting. There were many intriguing characters but do not expect to like them. Like all mysteries, the characters reveal more about themselves with little events and details occurring throughout the novel. I know I must be stating the obvious here but I suppose I never became aware of that until this book. The thing is, though,
...more
Julie lit pour les autres
Lu en français: Fenêtres sur la nuit
3.5/5

Que dire, sinon que je l'ai encore sur l'estomac, celui-là. C'est un huis clos dans un complexe d'habitations, secoué par des meurtres horribles. C'est Anton Beer, médecin spécialisé en psychiatrie, qui se trouve au coeur des secrets des habitants du complexe. Ce sont des portes qui s'ouvrent, qui claquent, qui se ferment sur les secrets des uns et des autres. Ce sont des fenêtres qui laissent entrevoir une parcelle de vérité ou le reflet des désirs. Dans
...more
Wayne
Jan 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
When I started this book I was afraid it would be filled with overly grotesque characters and have a very dark atmosphere.While the book did take place in Vienna during the early part of the second world war the politics of the day played only a small part of the book.
The entire book was set in an apartment complex and there were several murders taking place at the same time. This is the main weakness in the book. The story has a number of sub plots that take place at the same time but the stor
...more
Joe
Apr 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish every book I picked up to read was as good as this book was. Wonderfully written, engaging characters, believeable Vienna in 1939-40. I'm sorry the story is over, like many books this good, you want it to go on and on. Dan Vyleta has a great gift, I hope he provides more enjoyment to his readers.

About the book: Vienna, 1939. Professor Speckstein’s dog has been brutally killed and he wants to know why. But these are uncharitable times and one must be careful where one probes…

When an unexp
...more
Nupur
Oct 08, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is centered in an apartment complex in the year 1939.

While it starts with the murder of a disgraced doctor's (also the landlord) dog, a series of murders have occurred in the city and it seems as if a serial killer is one the loose. The dog's owner asks a fellow doctor, Dr. Beer, to investigate, with a not-so-subtle hint of him being watched by the powers that be. Dr. Beer is aided landlord's hypochondriac niece and an abused, hunchbacked 10 year old girl and the habit of the complex's
...more
Erin
Mar 25, 2012 rated it liked it
This was an intriguing read about Austria during the Third Reich. It centers around an apartment building and all of the dark, disturbing things going on within its confines, highlighting the suspicion and distrust of the average person during this war torn period. This book was very hard to put down, although its subject matter was distateful. I also couldn't understand why any male would have a desire to rape a woman so sick that she was skeletal, full of sores and couldn't move. what could po ...more
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Dan Vyleta is the son of Czech refugees who emigrated to Germany in the late 1960s. After growing up in Germany, he left to attend university in the UK where he completed a Ph.D. in History at King’s College, University of Cambridge. He now calls Canada his home. When not reading or writing novels, Dan Vyleta watches cop shows, or listens to CDs from his embarrassingly large collection of Jazz alb ...more
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