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The Alienist
Alienist-Book-Cover-07-Tied-TV-Cover
Genre Crime novel; historical novel
Author Caleb Carr
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Random House
Publication date 15 March 1994
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback); Kindle
Pages 496
Series
Next The Angel of Darkness

The Alienist is a crime novel by Caleb Carr first published in 1994. It is the first book in the ‘Kreizler series.’

SynopsisEdit

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.[1]

Editiorial ReviewsEdit

  • "When The Alienist was first published in 1994, it was a major phenomenon, spending six months on the New York Times bestseller list, receiving critical acclaim, and selling millions of copies. This modern classic continues to be a touchstone of historical suspense fiction for readers everywhere." [2]
  • "Set in 1896, Carr's novel about a serial killer lose in New York City was a 25-week PW bestseller." [3]
  • "A serial killer is butchering boy prostitutes in New York City. Police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt enlists a reporter and groundbreaking psychologist (known as an "alienist" in 1896) to track the killer by compiling his psychological profile. The real mystery here, however, lies in finding out what happens in the sections of the novel that were abridged. Who are all these characters? How did they jump to their apparently absurd conclusions? Where is the social history of the city and the celebrity cameos that the printed book's reviewers found so enticing? To judge by the level of suspense reader Edward Hermann can generate during selected passages, this may be a very good novel. Libraries would do best to wait for an unabridged release or stick with the print version." [4]

GalleryEdit

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. From the back cover of the 1st edition; Published by Random House on 15 March 1994.
  2. From the TV series tie-in edition, released Nov 21, 2017.
  3. From Publishers Weekly. Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
  4. From Library Journal; John Hiett, Iowa City P.L. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.