NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • THE BOOK BEHIND SEASON TWO OF TNT’S THE ALIENIST • Dr. Laszlo Kreizler returns in a “whopping thriller” (The Washington Post) that showcases Caleb Carr “at his strongest” (USA Today).
June 1897. A year has passed since Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a pioneer in forensic psychiatry, tracked down the brutal serial killer John Beecham with the help of a team of trusted companions and a revolutionary application of the principles of his discipline. Kreizler and his friends—high-living crime reporter John Schuyler Moore; indomitable, derringer-toting Sara Howard; the brilliant (and bickering) detective brothers Marcus and Lucius Isaacson; powerful and compassionate Cyrus Montrose; and Stevie Taggert, the boy Kreizler saved from a life of street crime—have returned to their former pursuits and tried to forget the horror of the Beecham case.
But when the distraught wife of a Spanish diplomat begs Sara’s aid, the team reunites to help find her kidnapped infant daughter. It is a case fraught with danger, since Spain and the United States are on the verge of war. Their investigation leads the team to a shocking suspect: a woman who appears to the world to be a heroic nurse and a loving mother, but who may in reality be a ruthless murderer of children.
Once again, Caleb Carr proves his brilliant ability to re-create the past, both high life and low. Fast-paced and chilling, The Angel of Darkness is a tour de force, a novel of modern evil in old New York.
Praise for The Angel of Darkness
“A ripping yarn told with verve, intensity, and a feel for historical detail . . . Once again we are careening around the gaslighted New York that Carr knows, and depicts, so well.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Gripping . . . Carr is at his strongest, exploring the dark underside of the human psyche and ferreting out the terrors and tragedies that drive men—and women—to kill. . . . In Libby Hatch, Carr has created a villain whose cunning is nearly equal to his detectives’ crime-solving prowess. . . . The mystery is plotted with military precision.”—USA Today
“[A] whopping thriller . . . Carr keeps us racing along with him to the very end.”—The Washington Post Book World
“Fascinating . . . In a brilliant bit of historical casting, Clarence Darrow, a rising courtroom wizard from Chicago, turns up to defend the villain at a tense upstate New York murder trial.”—Time
The multitudes who enjoyed The Alienist are in for a surprise when they open this comfortable sequel to that mega-seller. Gone is the crisp, educated narration of New York Times reporter James Moore, replaced by the hotter, more ragged tones of former street urchin Stevie, a relatively minor figure in the first novel. That's a bold move on Carr's part--Conan Doyle never replaced Watson--but not too bold, as it cuts staleness. Otherwise, the novel retreads its predecessor's prowl through Olde New York and resurrects its catchy crime-busting crew of alienist Laszlo Kreizler and his carefully typecast assistants, as well as a flurry of historical figures (Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Teddy Roosevelt, et al.) whose appearances again blend into the action like stones into cake batter. Why tinker with success? Carr doesn't really, though for variety's sake he takes Kreizler and company upstate for a spell as they gather evidence against the monstrous Libby Hatch, a serial killer whose kidnapping of an infant gets Kreizler on her trail and smack up against society's sentiments about the sanctity of women. Carr also offers some courtroom dramatics as Libby is put on trial, defended by Clarence Darrow. Like The Alienist, this is a talky thriller, paced less by its bursts of violence (culminating in the U.S. Navy invading Greenwich Village) than by its broodings--psychological, moral, legal--about the roots of evil. To experience it is to plunge into a meticulously reconstructed past where ideas count and where the principals take their time exploring them. Just so, readers will want to take their time exploring Carr's cleverly crafted sequel, a novel whose myriad pleasures exude the essence of intelligent leisure reading. 250,000 first printing; major ad/promo; author tour.