It’s been almost 10 years since I picked up Caleb Carr’s book The Alienist, and just as long since I last read it. However, it’s still one of my favorite books EVER.

Set in New York around the end of the 19th century, the story is being narrated by one of the main characters, a journalist by the name of John Moore. The book’s central character, however, is Laszlo Kreizler, a Hungarian psychiatrist living in New York City

The story is a dark one, involving child prostitution, poverty, and murder. While the book’s theme might scare people off, you get a very well written story that combines history with forensics and forensics psychology. Carr has managed to make a believable adaptation of some of today’s methods for catching serial killers, to a 19th century setting. Combine this with a true enthusiast’s view of 19th century New York City and you have a greatly written story in a vividly described historical environment.

I definately recommend this book to anyone who’s interested in forensics, late 19th century history, and/or New York City.

Along the way, not only do we get a truly thrilling story, we also get to meet some historical characters, such as Theodore Roosevelt, William Hearst and J.P. Morgan.

Final Grade: 5/5

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