The Brahms Deception

Written by Louise Marley
Review by Monica E. Spence

Kristian North is a handsome, talented, and perpetually broke pianist who has lost everything important to him: his Julliard scholarship, his Ph.D. candidacy, and his beautiful girlfriend. Following months of preparation, someone grabs his spot in the Remote Research Foundation’s “transfer process,” a time-travel experiment that would allow him to observe the great 19th-century romantic composer, Johannes Brahms. Now, he is just another displaced musician earning a living in a bar and dreaming of what-might-have-beens.

At a young age Frederica Bannister, the homely, spoiled daughter of wealthy parents, discovered money cannot buy love. Reacting to rejection, Frederica becomes obsessed with Brahms. When her father buys Frederica a place in the transfer experiment, she assures her place in music history.

Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms are internationally famous musicians, dear friends and keepers of her late husband Robert’s musical legacy. But Clara and Hannes are in love; they plan a tryst in Italy. Frederica is shocked to discover Clara with Brahms and coldly usurps Clara’s body, intending to remain forever with Brahms.

Desperate to hold off a lawsuit, the Remote Research Foundation flies Kris to Italy. He watches Frederica take over the body of his muse, Clara Schumann. Alone, he must reverse Frederica’s plot.

This finely researched tale speculates on Brahms and Schumann’s relationship. The characters, setting and plot convince the reader of the veracity of the unfolding story. Unexpected plots and subplots and memorable characters keep the reader hooked from the opening sentence.

The Brahms Deception is one of the best books I have read in long time, and I recommend it very highly. I am looking forward to reading Mozart’s Blood, Marley’s previous novel.