I Was Jack Mortimer

Alexander Lernet-Holenia

"The cast of this brilliant thriller ... are pure Raymond Chandler ... but the Viennese setting gives it an extra, stylish twist. It's excellently written and fearsomely gripping." The Times

A taxi-driver in 1930s Vienna impersonates a murder victim-with unsettling consequences

"One doesn't step into anyone's life, not even a dead man's, without having to live it to the end."

A man climbs into Ferdinand Sponer's cab, gives the name of a hotel, and before he reaches it has been murdered: shot through the throat. And though Sponer has so far committed no crime, he is drawn into the late Jack Mortimer's life, and might not be able to escape its tangles and intrigues before it is too late...

Twice filmed, I Was Jack Mortimer is a tale of misappropriated identity as darkly captivating and twisting as the books of Patricia Highsmith.

Alexander Lernet-Holenia was born in Vienna in 1897. He served in the Austro-Hungarian army in the First World War and became a protégé of Rainer Maria Rilke. During his life he wrote poetry, novels, plays and was a successful screenwriter. His uneasy relationship with the National Socialist Party resulted in his removal from prominence in 1944, but after the end of the Second World War, he again became a vital figure in Austrian cultural life. He died in 1976.

Translated by Ignat Avsey
Cover illustration by Eda Akaltun
192 pp
Published 29/08/2013
ISBN 9781908968159
Pushkin Collection

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I Was Jack Mortimer

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