BROTW 05/01/10-The Alienist


Book Recommendation of the Week 05/01/10

Author: Carr, Caleb

Title: The Alienist

Publication Date: 1994

Number of Pages: 496

Geographical Setting: New York City

Time Period: 1896

Series: Followed by The Angel of Darkness, 1997.

Plot Summary: It is 1896 and something is happening to the children of New York. Boys are vanishing into the dark, only to be found later mutilated, and dead. Forgotten members of the immigrant class, these murdered children are overlooked by an apathetic police, more concerned with graft then justice. A seemingly unstoppable serial killer is on the loose, until a crusading police commissioner steps in. Recruiting a secret band of investigators, including a reporter, a psychologist, and a pair of unorthodox police detectives they set out to solve these murders. Drawing on the new techniques of fingerprinting and forensic science, they race to stop a killer . . . before another child dies.

Subject Headings:

Historical Fiction

Mystery Fiction

Serial Murders, Fiction

New York (N.Y.), Fiction

Appeal: This book manages to be simultaneously both engrossing and horrifying. The crisp, sharp, writing paints New York in a shadowy sepia tone, with a crimson hint of blood. The Alienist draws classic mystery fans, as well as aficionados of the modern suspense and forensic science thrillers.

Similar Authors and Works: Alan Moore, From Hell; Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City; Oakley M Hall, Ambrose Bierce and the Queen of Spades.