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... show more
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.From the Paperback edition.
Publish date: October 24th 2006
Publisher: Random House, Inc.
Pages no: 498
Edition language: English
Series: Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (#1)
This was a nostalgia read. I first read this book 20 or so years ago when it came out and it still stands out as one of the best books I've ever read. Set in 1890s NYC, an alienist (or a psychologist in modern terms) and his friends set out to solve the murders of several "boy-whores" - children...
This book is one of the reasons my 2014 reading hasn't been going too well. It was okay, but didn't grab me at all and I wasn't interested in reading. Not a good start since I want to read a lot this year. It had some interesting parts, but I could not connect with it. And I watch a lot of Law and...
bookshelves: historical-fiction, mystery-thriller, glbt, north-americas, psychology, victoriana Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Susanna Read in May, 2009 Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States---Page 142 - psychological determinism = cause and effect from childhood environment. I k...
I admit the fairly high rating may reflect this book hits the spot for me in several ways. I love books that cross genres, and this one is a melange of mystery, suspense/thriller and historical fiction--and one set in my own beloved New York City--albeit that of 1896. I admit I got a kick out of rea...
A very interesting read. The first 100 or so pages are quite slow but after that it picks up pace. He captures the duplicity and difference of victorian era New York quite well.