Dr Dan Vyleta’s third novel, The Crooked Maid, has just been published. To celebrate there will be a launch event at the Durham Waterstones on Wednesday 19 February, at 6.30, and at Newcastle Waterstone’s on Saturday 22 February at 12.00.
The Crooked Maid is set in post-war Vienna, 1948. As the initial phase of de-Nazification winds down, the citizens of Vienna struggle to rebuild their lives amidst the rubble. Although The Crooked Maid is not a sequel, it picks up on the character of Anna Beer who featured in Vyleta’s previous work, The Quiet Twin, which was set in Vienna ten years previously.
“A dramatic study of a city that survived a world war only to find itself embarking on a cold war”
Marilyn Stasio, New York Times
After discovering her husband’s infidelity, Beer has returned to Vienna to find him and, perhaps, to forgive him. Travelling on the same train from Switzerland is 18-year-old Robert Seidel, a schoolboy summoned home to his stepfather’s sickbed and the secrets of his family’s past.
As Anna and Robert navigate an unrecognizable city, they cross paths with a war-widowed American journalist, a hunchbacked young servant girl, and a former POW whose primary purpose is to survive by any means and to forget. Meanwhile, in the shells of burned-out houses and beneath the bombed-out ruins, a ghost of a man, his head wrapped in a red scarf, battles demons from his past and hides from a future deeply uncertain for all.
The Crooked Maid is available now, published by Bloomsbury.