lia's Reviews > The Alienist

The Alienist by Caleb Carr
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's review
Feb 12, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: mystery
Read in May, 2015

Read this long way back - the Indonesian translation.
I remember that i enjoyed it so much and plan to reread it preferably the English version (i lost my Bahasa Indonesia one).

This is the turn of the century crime where police force is started becoming a modern professional force like today and new and exciting methods are introduce like finger printing.

May 1st 2015.

Just finished reading this for the second time. It was still a brilliant book.
It actually just a story of detectives chasing serial killer; what made it special is the setting (or context as Kiezler like to point out).

Before modern criminal investigation, when finger print was still controversial and not fully accepted in America, a sadistic serial killer was running rampant. His victims were boy-whores who clogs New York slum.

The alienist (Lazlo Kiezler) has controversial method in analysing whether a patient / criminal was truly insane. He look deep into their past, especially their childhood to understand the context on how the man became what he was today. He got help from Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th US President, but then was still new Police Commissioner in New York.

He teamed up with the narrator, John Moore, his childhood friend and Times' journalist, two new detectives; the Isacsoon and the aspiring detective but currently still secretary, Sara.

With Kiezler's guidance, the team unearthed who was the man behind the grisly murder. From having zero fact they uncover the man's identity and his past experience that made him who he was today.

Truly special book.


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