The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night New York Times crime reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or alienist. On the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, they view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattans infamous brothels.
The newly appointed police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, in a highly unorthodox move, enlists the two men in the murder investigation, counting on the reserved Kreizlers intellect and Moores knowledge of New Yorks vast criminal underworld. They are joined by Sara Howard, a brave and determined woman who works as a secretary in the police department. Laboring in secret (for alienists, and the emerging discipline of psychology, are viewed by the public with skepticism at best), the unlikely team embarks on what is a revolutionary effort in criminology - amassing a psychological profile of the man theyre looking for based on the details of his crimes.
Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who has killed before . . . and will kill again before the hunt is over.
Fast-paced and gripping, infused with a historians exactitude, The Alienist conjures up the Gilded Age and its tarnished underside verminous tenements and opulent mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. Here is a New York during an age when questioning societys belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and mortal consequences. Step into another timeand unforgettable terror.
The year is 1896. The city is New York. The hunt is on for a baffling new kind of criminala serial killer.
A first-rate tale of crime and punishment that will keep readers guessing until the final pages. Entertainment Weekly.