NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Imaginative and fulfilling . . . an addictive contemporary crime procedural.”—Michael Connelly, The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)
Caleb Carr, the author of The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness, returns with a contemporary, edge-of-your-seat thriller featuring the brilliant but unconventional criminal psychologist Dr. Trajan Jones.
In the small town of Surrender in upstate New York, Dr. Jones, a psychological profiler, and Dr. Michael Li, a trace evidence expert, teach online courses in profiling and forensic science from Jones’s family farm. Once famed advisors to the New York City Police Department, Trajan and Li now work in exile, having made enemies of those in power. Protected only by farmhands and Jones’s unusual “pet,” the outcast pair is unexpectedly called in to consult on a disturbing case.
In rural Burgoyne County, a pattern of strange deaths has emerged: adolescent boys and girls are found murdered in gruesome fashion. Senior law enforcement officials are quick to blame a serial killer, yet their efforts to apprehend this criminal are peculiarly ineffective.
Jones and Li soon discover that the victims are all “throwaway children,” a new state classification of young people who are neither orphans, runaways, nor homeless, but who are abandoned by their families and left to fend for themselves. Two of these throwaways, Lucas Kurtz and his older sister, Ambyr, cross paths with Jones and Li, offering information that could blow the case wide open.
As the stakes grow higher, Jones and Li must not only unravel the mystery of how the throwaways died but also defend themselves and the Kurtz siblings against shadowy agents who don’t want the truth to get out. Jones believes the real story leads back to the city where both he and Dr. Kreizler did their greatest work. But will Jones and Li be able to trace the case to New York before they fall victim to the murderous forces that stalk them?
Tautly paced and richly researched, Surrender, New York brings to life the grim underbelly of a prosperous nation—and those most vulnerable to its failings. This brilliant novel marks another milestone in Caleb Carr’s triumphant literary suspense career.
Praise for Surrender, New York
“[A] page-turning thriller . . . For maximum enjoyment: surrender, reader.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Every word of fiction Carr has produced seems to have been written in either direct or indirect conversation with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. . . . [Surrender, New York] allows Carr to deploy his indisputable gift for the gothic and the macabre, and the pursuit is suspenseful and believable.”—USA Today
“[A] long-awaited return.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“[A] superb mystery . . . [that moves] at a swift and often terrifying pace. As in The Alienist, Carr triumphs at every twist and turn.”—Providence Journal
“Edgar Allan Poe would have understood this book and hailed it a masterpiece. . . . A terrific story with a great setting and a very modern social message.”—The Globe and Mail
“[An] engrossing mystery.”—Library Journal
“A compulsive read . . . Carr once again delivers a high-stakes thriller featuring a new band of clever, determined outcasts.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Carr’s many fans will find this well worth the wait.”—Kirkus Reviews
Bestseller Carr's ambitious, modern-day crime novel, a potential series kickoff, starts off strong but loses its way. Psychologist Trajan Jones and Mike Li, an "expert in trace and DNA evidence," now teach online forensic courses out of a classroom in upstate New York, after their work discrediting official crime labs led to their exile from New York City. Their focus is on rebutting the notion that hard science has made criminal psychology and profiling obsolete. But certain odd details, such as Jones owning a pet cheetah, distract from that genuinely interesting debate and tend to make the central plot line less plausible, which involves the deaths of "throwaway children" that the authorities want to pass off, in an overly contrived scenario, as the work of a serial killer. Fans of Carr's two superior historical mysteries, The Alienist and The Angle of Darkness, should be prepared for heavy foreshadowing and ponderous prose ("But this conception of our foray was to prove wholly inadequate, in manifold ways").
Customer ReviewsSee All
Generally I enjoy Mr. Carr. This book disappoints on subtle levels. That point of suspended disbelief is greatly challenged.
Terrible! First book I have not finished, though I tried forcing myself. Author tried way too hard and came away with a rambling story marred by weak dialogue and even worse characters and plot. The protagonist is a one-legged man with a pet cheetah being helped in a multiple murder investigation by a high school kid. Don't waste your time on this one.
Not close to meeting the lofty standards set forth by author's prior work. The plot meanders and seems to be stuck in quagmire. Book would have been far better served by having much of its excess fat gutted. Author seems uncertain of direction novel should take; as such, much of plot allocated to setting underpinnings for where plot could eventually go--unfortunately, it doesn't end up going anywhere intriguing.