Most of the remaining population of Vienna in the ruins of World War I is surviving by its wits, living hand to mouth in a city rife with crime, prostitution, and grotesquely wounded beggars. Post-war Vienna is a deeply scarred city where the glories of the Hapsburg Empire are but a fading memory, where the black market is the only market and shortages of vital goods create countless opportunities for unscrupulous operators.
Into this cauldron of vice comes Inspector August Emmerich, a veteran whose ambitions lead him to break the rules when necessary and whose abiding wish is to join the Viennese major crimes unit. When a corpse is found in the woods outside the city and immediately labelled a suicide, Emmerich, convinced it was nothing of the sort, sees a chance to prove his mettle. But his investigations will reveal a more insidious and homicidal urge lurking in the city than even he anticipates.
“With great intelligence, Beer brings both the epoch and the characters alive for the reader.” —Die Welt
“August Emmerich is an amusing cynic, yet also an extraordinarily perceptive detective. He’s such a compelling character.”—Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung
“Beer transforms a gripping thriller into an exciting historical novel.”—Leiziger Volkszeitung
“The artistry here is that Beer draws the reader into Vienna between the wars and after no more than a few lines we want to know so much more.”—NEWS
“A fantastically gripping mystery that is rich in atmosphere.”—B5 Kulturnachrichten
Alex Beer was born in Bregenz, Austria and studied archeology. She now lives in Vienna. The Second Rider is her first novel.