Book Review #1 – The Alienist By Caleb Carr

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Rating: Five Stars

Yes, I only just got around to reading “The Alienist”.  Admittedly, I’m many years behind the times, but better late than never!

This was a FANTASTIC book.  There’s a reason that it was a best-seller.  It combines so many elements in such a great fashion that it’s hard to know where to begin in a review.

First, no one should confuse this with an actual historical novel as opposed to fiction, but it would be easy to do so.  The book is well researched, and taking place in the late 1890s is as accurate in its rendition of the times as any history I’ve read.  This goes for the places (New York, Washington) as well as the people (to include Theodore Roosevelt and JP Morgan).  The fictional characters are well fleshed out, and the ones based in history are accurate.

Those same characters are on the hunt for a serial killer, only it’s 1890s New York and they don’t have the same technologies or methods we have today.  The tale of what it is that they do to find the killer is what composes the crux of the book.  The author’s descriptive powers match or exceed those of many I’ve read, and he draws you into the narrative and keeps you there with his fast-paced style.  The ending of the book has a neat little twist, and is very satisfying.

If you’re a fan of the TV show “Criminal Minds” or work of similar ilk, then you will enjoy this book immensely.  Even if you’re not, I suggest you give it a read – it stands on its own and will be a novel that stands the test of time.

Comments (1)

  1. Anonymous 2010-02-22 at 18:15

    About flippin’ time! Ironically he wrote another book called "Killing Time". I didn’t read it b/c I don’t like time travel books. But "Angel of Darkness" is kickin!

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