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The Alienist
by Caleb Carr
Publisher: Random House Trade 1994
Category: Fiction19th century
Avg Rating: (3 reviews)
The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night New York Times reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or "alienist." On the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, they view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattan's infamous brothels.The newly appointed police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, in a highly unorthodox move, enlists the two men in the murder investigation, counting on the reserved Kreizler's intellect and Moore's knowledge of New York's vast criminal underworld. They are joined by Sara Howard, a brave and determined woman who works as a secretary in the police department. Laboring in secret (for alienists, and the emerging discipline of psychology, are viewed by the public with skepticism at best), the unlikely team embarks on what is a revolutionary effort in criminology-- amassing a psychological profile of the man they're looking for based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who has killed before. and will kill again before the hunt is over.Fast-paced and gripping, infused with a historian's exactitude, The Alienist conjures up the Gilded Age and its untarnished underside: verminous tenements and opulent mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. Here is a New York during an age when questioning society's belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and mortal consequences.

Reviews

Great Book - March 2nd, 2012
It was great!

In old New York - January 10th, 2007
Really enjoyed reading this book. Although the murders were a bit gruesome. The culture was shown well, both the haves and the have nots. The research and depiction of New York held one's interest, as well as the menu's from Delmonicos. Close attention to detail with all its stench and glory mixed with NY politics brought this story alive. The use of the english language was envigorating and added to pleasurable reading.

pretty good. - June 15th, 2004
A fun romp of a mystery. Well researched. Gives a real feel for NYC at the turn of the century.

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