Beethoven's Assassins

Andrew Crumey


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Dedalus Ltd
12 May 2023
ISBN: 9781912868230
512 pages

From the publisher

Simultaneously a touching human story, a meditation on art and science, and a primer on Beethoven’s life and work, Andrew Crumey’s ninth novel skilfully weaves history, music, erudition and humour in a page-turning mystery that will resonate in the reader’s mind long afterwards.

A lost opera and a dark conspiracy lie at the heart of this philosophical comedy which views Beethoven through the eyes of multiple characters across time, linked by strange events at a rambling country house. Nowadays a retreat for artists, scientists and researchers, the house was formerly an asylum with a clairvoyant inmate, and before that, a location for esoteric experiments. As labyrinthine as the architecture is a plot whose themes include Crusader legends and 1920s literary London, mesmerism and freemasonry, psychoanalysis and theosophy. Holding everything together is a present-day scholar whose pandemic disasters propel him into the byways of history and towards an untimely demise.