NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A TNT ORIGINAL SERIES • “A first-rate tale of crime and punishment that will keep readers guessing until the final pages.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Caleb Carr’s rich period thriller takes us back to the moment in history when the modern idea of the serial killer became available to us.”—The Detroit News
When The Alienist was first published in 1994, it was a major phenomenon, spending six months on the New York Times bestseller list, receiving critical acclaim, and selling millions of copies. This modern classic continues to be a touchstone of historical suspense fiction for readers everywhere.
The year is 1896. The city is New York. Newspaper reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned by his friend Dr. Laszlo Kreizler—a psychologist, or “alienist”—to view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy abandoned on the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge. From there the two embark on a revolutionary effort in criminology: creating a psychological profile of the perpetrator based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who will kill again before their hunt is over.
Fast-paced and riveting, infused with historical detail, The Alienist conjures up Gilded Age New York, with its tenements and mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. It is an age in which questioning society’s belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and fatal consequences.
Praise for The Alienist
“[A] delicious premise . . . Its settings and characterizations are much more sophisticated than the run-of-the-mill thrillers that line the shelves in bookstores.”—The Washington Post Book World
“Mesmerizing.”—Detroit Free Press
“The method of the hunt and the disparate team of hunters lift the tale beyond the level of a good thriller—way beyond. . . . A remarkable combination of historical novel and psychological thriller.”—The Buffalo News
“Gripping, atmospheric . . . intelligent and entertaining.”—USA Today
“A high-spirited, charged-up and unfailingly smart thriller.”—Los Angeles Times
“Keeps readers turning pages well past their bedtime.”—San Francisco Chronicle
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This masterpiece of period crime fiction is back in the spotlight thanks to a new TV adaptation. Caleb Carr’s wickedly engrossing bestseller transports readers to 1890s New York, where a newspaper reporter, a politically savvy police commissioner, and a forensic psychologist (or alienist) investigate a series of grisly child murders. Whether he’s depicting the city’s seediest corners or its wealthiest perches, Carr delivers atmospheric dread in spades. The Alienist seamlessly integrates historical figures into a macabre, spine-tingling read.
Set in 1896, Carr's novel about a serial killer lose in New York City was a 25-week PW bestseller.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A bit too Sherlock'y
Beautifully written, a craftsman's delight but could have done with a editor's light fingered touch
The prose is superb, the plot fascinating, the characters well fleshed out. Roosevelt is an added bonus. The best historical mystery I’ve had the pleasure to read. Fascinating history of old New York gangsters and gangs. On to the next.
As much a fascinating history of NYC, science, and law as a great murder mystery
I return to this book every few years because it offers one of the most evocative descriptions of the gilded age of New York as one can read. If you like Devil in the White City, this will make you happy.