The Detroit News—“Caleb Carr's rich period thriller takes us back to the moment in history when the modern idea of the serial killer became available to us."
The year is 1896. The city is New York, and a serial killer is on the loose. Newspaper reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned by his friend, Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or "alienist," to view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy abandoned on the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge. From there, the two embark on a revolutionary new effort in criminology: creating a psychological profile of the perpetrator based on the details of his crimes. They're soon joined by Sara Howard, the first woman hired by the New York City Police Department. The team's dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who will kill again before their hunt is over.
Part Arthur Conan Doyle, part The Silence of the Lambs, The Alienist conjures up Gilded Age Manhattan, with its tenements and mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. It's the book that proved Caleb Carr a master at depicting the unsettling forces that tremble beneath everyday life.
Paperback | 495 pages