'He watches her eating one fig, then two more, grinding the seeds between her teeth, the sound echoing in her head, perhaps the last sound Dora heard before there was the thunder of blood in her ears...'
Vienna, 1910. On a warm August night, the body of a young girl is discovered in the city's celebrated Volksgarten. She has been strangled. Using the latest forensic methods and psychological thinking, the Chief Inspector of Police begins his painstaking search for the killer. He is not alone, however. His wife Erszébet - an exotic, passionate woman steeped in the folk tales and Gypsy lore of her native Hungary - becomes obsessed with the dead girl. In secret, and enlisting the help of a young English governess, she conducts her own investigation of the murder, guided by intuition, instinct and superstition... With its beautifully-evoked setting of Vienna just prior to the Great War, a city embracing the modern and yet in thrall to superstition and prejudice, and riven by corruption, perverse sexual practices and disease, The Fig Eater is a rich and seductive period page-turner of a novel.
"'A gripping psychological thriller...capturing the nervous mood of a city preoccupied, like one of its most famous residents, with sex and death'"
"'This is a captivating thriller that blooms into vivid life ... It's a novel written with immense skill, its sense of place and language constantly surprising and invigorating. A superb debut.'"
"'Highly unusual, eerie...a glorious maze of dead ends and false leads. Sometimes gruesome and highly mysterious, it is an exciting new brand of detective story'"
"'An artful and evocative thriller...rich in the texture of corruption' Independent"
"'An intensely powerful sense of time and place in this atmospheric and accomplished period whodunit'"