Tuesday, 6 September 2011
Book Review: Mozart's Last Aria by Matt Rees
Publication Date: 2011
Format: Hard Cover
Genre: Historical Crime
Rating: 5 out of 5
Synopsis from inside cover
The year is 1791 and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is enlightenment Vienna's brightest star. Master of the city's music halls and devoted member of the Austrian Freemason's guild, he stands at the heart of an electric mix of art and music, philsophy and science, politics and intrigue.
Six weeks ago, the great composer told his wife he had been poisoned. Yesterday, he died.
The city is buzzing with rumours of infidelity, bankruptcy and murder. But Wolfgang's estranged sister Nannerl, returned from the provinces to investigate his death, will not believe the gossip. Who but a madman would poison such genius?
Yet as she looks closely at what her brother left behind - a handwritten score, a scrap of paper from his journal - Nannerl finds traces of something sinister: the threads of a Masonic conspiracy that reach from the gilded ballrooms of Viennese society to the faceless offices of the Prussian secret service.
Only when watching Wolfgang's bewitching opera, The Magic Flute, does Nannerl truly understand he beloved brother once again. For, encoded in his final aria, she detects a subtly crafted blueprint for a radical new tomorrow. Mozart hoped this would determine his future. Did it seal his fate instead?
Mozart's Last Aria is an historical crime novel, that is set around the time of Mozart's death in 1791. It is told from the viewpoint of his sister Maria Anna 'Nannerl' Mozart.
Although Nannerl is telling the story, the main character is Mozart himself. All the way through the story Mozart's work is mentioned. Matt Rees even includes a chapter music list at the end of the book, I found this to be very useful as it really helped me visualise the settings that the music was used in.
Even though this is an historical crime novel, it is also a conspiracy novel at the same time. It reminded me of Dan Browns The Da Vinci Code. We have Freemasons, Secret Police and characters that you don't know whether to trust or trust. The main characters in the story were all real, and this also helped bring the story to life.
Matt Rees descriptive powers are outstanding, and I really felt like I was standing in the main locations mentioned in this book, especially the Flour Market and St Michael's Church.
Mozart's Last Aria is an excellent crime?conspiracy novel that grabs the readers' attention and doesn't let go till the very end. I highly recommend this book