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Die Einkreisung (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler #1)

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4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  96,552 Ratings  ·  3,803 Reviews
New York, 1896: Unter Polizeichef Theodore Roosevelt kommt es zu einem grauenvollen Mord, der sich als Teil einer ganzen Mordserie erweist. «Ein glänzend geschriebener, atmosphärisch dichter, historischer Psychothriller.» STERN
Paperback, 588 pages
Published May 1st 1996 by Heyne (first published 1994)
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Roberta TNT is producing a mini-series of the novel for 2016; no cast yet, but should be announced soon so watch the internet. I think it will translate great…moreTNT is producing a mini-series of the novel for 2016; no cast yet, but should be announced soon so watch the internet. I think it will translate great to screen and a mini-series may be better than a movie as gives them more time to flesh out all of the characters. Should be grand!(less)
Kat The author says its all his imagination, but he researched the subject matter heavily to make it feel like a true story set in the time period.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Stephen
This book was FIZZING which, according to my 19th Century Art of Manliness glossary, means excellent, top notch. Well, fizzing it was. Through most of this book, I had it rated at 5.0 stars as I was absolutely captivated by the writing, the characters and the plot and loved how they were all deftly tethered to a great depiction of late 19th Century everyday life.

I would describe this as a psychological thriller and detective mystery set in the 1890's and blending a Sherlock Holmes type investig
...more
Arah-Lynda
Jan 27, 2016 Arah-Lynda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top, lod, i-said, lets-get-real
Prior to the twentieth century, persons suffering from mental illness were thought to be “alienated”, not only from the rest of society but from their own true natures. Those experts who studied mental pathologies were therefore know as alienists.


At two a.m. on March 3rd, 1896 someone comes pounding on the door of John Moore’s grandmother’s house in New York City. Not drunk, nor particularly sober, when called from his bed, John is immediately whisked away by carriage, to the site of the still
...more
Lain
May 12, 2008 Lain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I tend not to like historical fiction, but this one blew me away. I challenge any thriller-and-suspense lover to try this book and not get hooked by the end of the first chapter. Fabulous.
mark monday
Aug 11, 2016 mark monday rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I guess I just need more than a mammoth miniseries version of a steampunk-era CSI episode. I've never enjoyed that show - what little I've watched of it - because the minutia of forensic science and criminal psychology utterly bore me when they are not tied to interesting themes, characters with depth, or a rich atmosphere. the entirely insipid protagonist made me entirely frustrated. the pedestrian prose made me want to scream. the fact that the cover is the most evocative thing about a novel t ...more
LD  Durham
Jan 30, 2008 LD Durham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
I really liked this book. At first, I was a bit disoriented, and really, I blame my own sloppy brain for that. It’s been over a decade that I actually read literature instead of trashy romance novels and/or Internet fan fiction. So when I first started this one, I was in awe of its many syllabic words. I nearly put it down, deciding that my brain had flared out like a star many years ago and had permanently rotted away. But, no! I was able to catch on and looked forward to reading more and more. ...more
Chris
Jun 19, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
I found The Alienist to be a fascinating and exciting read. This historical fiction takes place in New York City just before the turn of the century and revolves around the activities of one of the first forensic investigations in world history. To try and catch a serial killer targeting young boys, a team of unlikely allies are pulled together by none other than Theodore Roosevelt, then a NY City Police commissioner. The team quickly discover that to solve this case will require them to researc ...more
julio
Mar 23, 2014 julio rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
for the NYC nerd: yes. for everyone else: no.

i liked reading about old new york more than i liked reading about any of the people in it.

historian win;

author fail.
Crystal Craig
Another reader on Goodreads referred to Caleb Carr's, The Alienist as being "historically interesting." Definitely. Another commented saying, "novels like The Alienist seem to be a dying breed." I couldn't agree more. These days, I don't read the number of crime novels I once did, but every so often, I feel the inclination to indulge—you know feed the brain a little, solve a puzzle. Do you know how hard it is to find a well-written, old-fashioned style police procedurals that haven't been hung o ...more
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
I found out after I finished the book that Caleb Carr started off by writing historical non-fiction and that he even first pitched this book as non-fiction, afraid that his editor and publisher wouldn't accept a work of fiction from a non-fiction writer.

I mention this because I feel that his background in non-fiction shows through in the writing style - including the descriptions of the city and places in the city itself which I felt were more textbook than evocative. (Granted, judging by the re
...more
Kim
Nov 29, 2011 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction

This is a book I've meant to read for a while. It was finally bumped up from its spot down the bottom of my TBR pile thanks to this month's group read for the Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group.

Set in New York City in 1896, the novel tells the story of a team set up to investigate a series of murders, mostly of young male prostitutes. The investigation team is the brainchild of Theodore Roosevelt, NYC Police Commissioner in his pre-White House days, who is dedicated to cleaning up corruption in t
...more
Adina
Jul 25, 2016 Adina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I realized that I can usually feel a 5* book from the first 50 pages. There is something in the author’s voice that gets to me. The same thing happened with The Alienist. It just had me at hello.

The novel is historical fiction written by a non-fiction author. Although I could feel that background from the attention to the detail he employed in the description of the historical setting, it was never dull and he did a great job to introduce me in the atmosphere of 1896, New York and its underworl
...more
Jessica
Oct 12, 2007 Jessica rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone with different tastes
Bleagh.

I thought this book was gonna be soooooooo awesome, and I was just gonna love it sooooo much. Everyone loved this book, remember?? Plus it is about one of my favorite periods in American history, and parts of it take place in my beloved Bellevue Hospital (the old one that's a shelter now -- the best example ever of "transinsitutionalization")!

Alas, the harder they come, the harder they fall. Maybe I didn't stick it out long enough -- do I ever? -- but I just couldn't stand the writing sty
...more
Dalton Lynne
If I had to sum up The Alienist with one word it would be this: plodding. The description of the book on Goodreads calls it 'fast-paced'. False advertising right there! Fast-paced it most certainly was not. LOL

The book was a bit of a disappointment in various ways.

One, I didn't feel much of an emotional connection with the main characters. I don't know why ... whether it was the author's writing style, the time period, or what. But I just wasn't drawn in to their world or their personalities. I
...more
Kira Fisher
Jan 24, 2008 Kira Fisher rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ireadyou
i have been going through a historical mystery phase, and this book certainly fit that niche.
unfortunately, i also wanted a book that was well-written, and this did NOT fit the niche for that.
everyone seems to love it, so i am nervous ranting too much about it, but it just seemed so hokey. the characters are such an obvious, contrived band of lovable misfits. the dialog can be interesting, but it can also drag.
i read the follow-up, 'The Angel of Darkness,'and it was ll the bad of this one with e
...more
Becky
Apr 01, 2012 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Becky by: OSGA - Laurel
I really had no idea what to expect as I started reading this book. This was one of those books that I read with a group, and wasn't sure if I'd like it or not. But after the first chapter or so, I found myself completely engrossed in this story and almost unable to put it down.

This was like a Sherlock Holmes story, only instead of Holmes solving the (usually single) crime based on the particular type of mud tracked in on the perpetrator's shoes that is only found in remote regions of Mongolia,
...more
Kristel
A couple of pages before finishing The Alienist, I declared that it is the most complete mystery I have ever read. Months after finishing this book, I still don't think that was hyperbole. Using the milieu of New York City in the middle of the Gilded Age, historian-turned-novelist Caleb Carr pits the emerging phenomenon of the serial killer against the pioneers of what would become criminal profiling in this fascinating example of a historical thriller.

At the center of the story is Dr. Laszlo Kr
...more
Barbara
Apr 26, 2016 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

New York City in 1896 isn't the nicest place to live. Outside of the ritzy neighborhoods the apartment buildings are shabby, overcrowded, and smelly; the streets are dirty and dangerous; and whore houses of every kind are prolific and unregulated. Moreover criminals operate freely and government agencies and police are largely corrupt. To add to the city's problems a serial killer is murdering and mutilating children, mostly young boy prostitutes who dress up as girls. The murderer goug
...more
Emma
Aug 01, 2016 Emma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, thriller
4.5 stars. A fascinating look at New York life at the end of the 19th century. The meticulous historical details drew the reader into the setting and world and totally underpinned the plot of the story and the search for a serial killer.
We see the seedier underworld of New York, the slum dwellings, the roof top travelling, police corruption, crime bosses, missionaries.
It was believable the way the author explained the coming together of an investigation team, experimenting with employing women
...more
Laura
Just arrived from Canada through BM.

Besides the historical facts about New York City by the end of 19th century, I liked the plot and the introduction of some important tools for an investigative work, like the fingerprint examination and the last impression in the iris of the eyes of corpses, which was proposed by Jules Verne. Of course, this last technique is a simple matter of conjecture.

It is interesting to see Theodore Roosevelt as a Police commissioner before he became the President of the
...more
Emma
Jul 21, 2007 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun historical fiction novel. I enjoyed learning about life in New York during the late 1800. If you have watched Gangs of New York you will love the references to the various gangs and activities of the Five Points area of New York. In addition, if you are a fan of crime drama, such as CSI, you will enjoy reading about the development and constroversy surronding many modern crime dectecting techniques. It is just a great suspense, mystery novel that is stylistically like many novels ...more
DeB MaRtEnS
I cannot continue to read this novel. It is brilliantly written. I love the historical references. The characters are fantastic.

The theory behind the psychological profiling of the serial killer had me drifting into thoughts of psychopaths, sociopaths, malevolent narcissists, or narcopaths I have known. None took human lives as far as I know, but they definitely snuffed out dreams and left deep scars. I now have a name for the psychopathology of this crazymaking and injurious behaviour, but it
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Originally reviewed in 2009...correcting a couple of awkward sentences and typos.

Interesting book. I read it some years ago during a "read anything you can get your hands on period". This was one of the good ones.

John Moore tells the story from a first person point of view. The book opens as he is having dinner with the well known Alienist or Psychiatrist, Laszlo Kreizler. The novel is told as a reminiscence of past events. In their talk (along with other dinner guests) the discussion settles o
...more
Cathy DuPont
Although I would think that I would get confused reading three books at the same time, I didn't. (It wasn't intentional; one was absconded and I started another book and the third book was an audio I listen to in the car.)

So I've gotten behind in my reviews but thinking back on The Alienist when I was finishing the last quarter, I'm wondering just what made me think it was five stars? (I think I was impressed with the scenery, since I love the Victorian period in America.)

Yes, it was well-writt
...more
Brad
Jan 01, 2012 Brad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Amy
Recommended to Brad by: Chris Simkulet
This review was written in the late nineties (just for myself), and it was buried in amongst my things until today, when I uncovered the journal it was written in. I have transcribed it verbatim from all those years ago (although square brackets indicate some additional information for the sake of readability). It is one of my lost reviews.

In a year where I read numerous works of "great" or "immortal" literature, Caleb Carr's The Alienist stands out as the most entertaining read by far. As is of
...more
Indrani Sen
Aug 14, 2016 Indrani Sen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First things first - highly recommended if you like/have engaged in problem solving through data analysis and brainstorming.

Now coming to the novel, the story is about a motley group of psychologist (called alienist then), reporter, advanced-for-their-time reporters and an aspiring female detective get together to chase a psychopathic serial killer. The story is set in the last few years of 19th century. The forensics, psychological profiling that we take for granted now were just in their infan
...more
Tara Lynn
I personally label this story as one of my top picks for best historical crime (fiction) novel ever. Caleb Carr has an eye for detail and character building that really envelops you in the story.

It's also an interesting study of the culture of New York at the turn of the century, and a great look at the beginnings of a new scientific approach to criminal justice.

I was horribly disappointed to find out that Carr had only done one more novel involving the characters from the Alienist, and I reco
...more
Dani
Although this book had all the ingredients for me to enjoy it immensely, I am disappointed to have to say that I decidedly didn't. The story starts off pretty slow and it was only about halfway that I had the feeling the story had properly taken off. Before I finished the book I struggled with it on numerous occasions. I must admit that I contemplated not finishing it because I hardly cared about the outcome/ending but I was already beyond the halfway point by that time so decided to power throu ...more
Lynn
Oct 20, 2008 Lynn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in the history of pop psychology
This is a mystery novel set in 1896 New York. Although the protagonists are upper class, it explores the gritty underworld (organized crime, violent immigrant neighborhoods, cross-dressing boy whores) of New York in search of a serial killer of children. Some of the detailed descriptions of the city and the time period are pretty interesting and detailed enough that I think a fair amount of research was done.

An Alienist is what psychiatrists were often called at the time. One lead member of the
...more
Squire
Mar 29, 2015 Squire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history buffs and fans of police proceedurals.
Outstanding. Exciting and fast-paced, but with an enormous amount of historic period detail. Never a dull moment, as they say. Everything my history professors' lectures in college weren't.

A gruesome murder in the immigrant sections of 1896 New York has newly-installed Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt calling upon two old college friends (a New York Times reporter and a controversial psychologist) to help him solve the case through the unorthodox method of profiling. As they investigate le
...more
Dubin
Jan 27, 2009 Dubin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that everybody read during a six month period a few years back. So I just got around to it, and man, what a disappointment. I enjoy historical fiction. I think books like From Hell and Billy Bathgate and the like are a lot of fun and make me smarter as well.

The Alienist has a perfectly passable mystery, but it's full of barely sketched characters and the writing is just so pedestrian that I was never drawn in. It's written in the first person, so I found myself wonder
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Hellfire Conspiracy (Barker & Llewelyn, #4)
  • A Curtain Falls (Simon Ziele, #2)
  • The Face of a Stranger (William Monk, #1)
  • A Conspiracy of Paper (Benjamin Weaver, #1)
  • The Pale Blue Eye
  • Blind Justice (Sir John Fielding, #1)
  • Cut to the Quick (Julian Kestrel Mysteries, #1)
  • A Murderous Procession (Mistress of the Art of Death, #4)
  • An Instance of the Fingerpost
  • The Yard (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad, #1)
  • River of Darkness (John Madden, #1)
  • The Anatomy of Deception
  • The List of Seven (The List of Seven, #1)
  • The Glass of Time (The Meaning of Night, #2)
  • Murder on Lenox Hill (Gaslight Mystery, #7)
  • What Angels Fear (Sebastian St. Cyr, #1)
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Caleb Carr is an American novelist and military historian. The son of Lucien Carr, a former UPI editor and a key Beat generation figure, he was born in Manhattan and lived for much of his life on the Lower East Side. He attended Kenyon College and New York University, earning a B.A. in military and diplomatic history. He is a contributing editor of MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History an ...more
More about Caleb Carr...

Other Books in the Series

Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (2 books)
  • The Angel of Darkness (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, #2)

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“The defenders of decent society and the disciples of degeneracy are often the same people.” 25 likes
“Imagine, [Kriezler] said, that you enter a large, somewhat crumbling hall that echoes with the sounds of people mumbling and talking repetitively to themselves. All around you these people fall into prostrate positions, some of them weeping. Where are you? Sara’s answer was immediate: in an asylum. Perhaps, Kreizler answered, but you could also be in a church. In the one place the behavior would be considered mad; in the other, not only sane, but as respectable as any human activity can be.” 14 likes
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