Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Alienist, Caleb Carr

This is a thriller, dealing with a fictional series of brutal murders in 1896 in New York. It is narrated by a crime journalist named Moore, who with his psychologist or "alienist" friend Dr. Kreizler, set out to solve the mystery of these murders. A host of other characters assist them, and Theodore Roosevelt, who would later become the president of the US, is in the book too as the Commissioner of the New York Police Department. After checking this book out of the library, my dad told me that the author is the brother of a friend of my parents, Simon Carr, a painter. So that was cool. However, one element of the book didn't make sense: Moore and Kreizler are convinced that the murderer is a sane man, but that by committing these murders, he's pleading to be captured. What? It doesn't make much sense. However, Dr. Kreizler's psychological ways of trying to paint a picture of the killer were very interesting, and the book kept me on my toes till the very end. It was a graphic and gruesome book, but I still enjoyed it very much. There are also many interesting other characters, such as Sara Howard, a woman aspiring to become a police detective. 3 1/2 stars.

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