Felix Theodor Schaad
Felix Theodor Schaad (FAY-lihks TAY-oh-dohr shat), a Zurich physician. Schaad is a fifty-four-year-old internist who is accused of brutally murdering his sixth wife, Rosalinde Zogg, by suffocating her and strangling her with his tie. The novel begins three weeks after Schaad has been acquitted of the crime and consists of his reliving the hearing. At the time of the murder, he is divorced from Zogg and is married to his seventh wife, Jutta. The question of whether Schaad is pathologically jealous and capable of violence toward women is continually raised by the prosecuting attorney, but answers are inconclusive. Schaad’s philanthropy and public service are pointed out. The doctor emerges as a complex and tormented individual who is perplexed by male-female relationships, particularly in their modern incarnations. After the acquittal, Schaad returns to his medical practice but is unsuccessful in resuming his former life. He tries drink, travel, and billiards, and finally returns to the town where he was born, confesses to the murder, and drives his car into a tree. He recovers from the accident and is told that his confession is false because the murderer, a Greek student named Nikos Grammaticos, has been found and taken into custody.
Rosalinde Zogg (ROH-zah-lihn-deh tsohk), Schaad’s sixth wife. After her divorce from Schaad, Rosalinde is supporting herself as a call girl, receiving visitors in her elegant and tastefully furnished apartment. Books scattered about the apartment suggest that she may be intellectually inclined. Schaad believes her to lack self-confidence, because she did not fulfill the expectations her father, a major, had for her. She was raped by an air force captain, and her first marriage occurred when she was nineteen years old.
(The entire section is 797 words.)