In The Angel Of Darkness, Caleb Carr brings back the vivid world of his bestselling The Alienist but with a twist: this story is told by the former street urchin Stevie Taggert, whose rough life has given him wisdom beyond his years. Thus New York City, and the groundbreaking alienist Dr. Kreizler himself, are seen anew.It is June 1897. A year has passed since Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a pioneer in forensic psychiatry, tracked down the brutal serial killer John Beecham with the help of a team of trusted companions and a revolutionary application of the principles of his discipline. Kreizler and his friends - high-living crime reporter Schuyler Moore; indomitable, derringer-toting Sara Howard; the brilliant (and bickering) detective brothers Marcus and Lucius Isaacson; powerful and compassionate Cyrus Montrose; and Stevie Taggert, the boy Kreizler saved from a life of street crime - have returned to their former pursuits and tried to forget the horror of the Beecham case. But when the distraught wife of a Spanish diplomat begs Sara's aid, the team reunites to help her find her kidnapped infant daughter. It is a case fraught with danger, since Spain and the United States are on the verge of war. Their investigation leads the team to a shocking suspect: a woman who appears to the world to be a heroic nurse and a loving mother, but who may in reality be a ruthless murderer of children. Fast-paced and chilling, The Angel Of Darkness is another tour de force from Caleb Carr, a novel of modern evil in old New York.
©1997 Caleb Carr (P)2012 Simon & Schuster Audio
This book would be excellent for those who have a specific interest in this particular genre/style; that is, the sort of pop fiction of the late nineteenth- early twentieth-century, and popular to films up through as late as the 1970's but peaking in the '30's 40's and 50's. A squad off young detectives in an uncivilized, crime-ridden New York City of the Fin-de-siecle, lead by their scientific mastermind - complete with idealized Austrian accent - who must battle against the ignorance of the Old World to prove his case and save a child. It's basically Tim Burton's rendition of Sleepy Hollow in literary form, and with a few extra cliches added to fill the thing out. And, of course, no Sir Arthur Conan Doyle rehash would be complete with out the perfunctory aborigine assassin.
Now, all that said, the book is well-written. The prose is good, and the story flows nicely, though, as it is a heavily overdone kind of story, don't expect any surprises. The characters are well developed, but they'd better be since authors have been developing exactly them for 175 years.
George Guidall is always an excellent voice, and a talented actor, and this is no exception. This book is great for people who are already in love with this very specific genre, otherwise I fear you will find yourself extremely bored early on, and this is no short read.
Caleb Carr has created a masterpiece in the Angel of Darkness.The book has just the right amount of humor, suspence, and violence. Normally I like a book that builds the characters, including both their past and present, this book was not like that. Stevie the main character had a lot of character building but the other characters did not. Caleb made each characters past stand out by telling you just enough to get curious. Cillous was the man servant to the good Doctor. All we knew about his past was that it was bad and the Doctor had taken him in. Through out the book Cillous would show his value to the group but not how or where he had learned to do what he did. Caleb was always sure to hint about his past but not give you any real information. Miss Sarah was another of the characters. She was a feminist that could not understand how men could shove women into a box of approved behaviors. The men in one town were so bad that if a women acted differently they would give them demonistic qualities. The little bits and peices Caleb gave of each character was the perfect amount to make the book go.
The mystery was centered around a female that had taken a child. The women had crossed the state killing children using poison. The people of the area would call her a hero for trying to save the kids but all along she was killing them. She had killed her only child brcause the man had left her. She had continued on as she took on new identities.
Finally the book led us to another mystery. I will let each of you decide for yourself, but I think the prosecutor was the father of her only baby. Just saying!!
people who like to read comic books
The story is preposterous. The initial plot is the search for a missing, kidnapped child - and then Dr. Krysler and team take a several month excursion to upstate NY. Hardly a sense of urgency to find a missing child. And the character of El Nino is dumb - and sounded like Speedy Gonzalez.
A very good sense of personality in the voices he performs
The whole character of El Nino.
Carr likes to take a somewhat recent topic, in this case Munchhausen Syndrome by Proxy and place it in the context of an early period. Kind of ridiculous for a novel.
If historical richness can excuse a plodding plot, and you have have plenty of time on your hands, this might be for you.
No, The Alienist was terrific.
Not exactly George Guidall's fault, because he is normally a terrific narrator, but I couldn't stand anticipating the word substitution of "what" for "that", which seems to be Caleb Carr's way of providing colloquial verisimilitude. I was so attentive to the substitution that I nearly jumped out of my skin the one and only time I heard Mr. Guidall use the word "that" while voicing the character of Stevie.
I'm immersed in the trial right now and the opening speeches of both lawyers was totally predictable and serves no purpose at such length but to restate the themes of the book. For about the seventh time.
I kept thinking how much more interesting this book would have been if Jack Reacher would have made an appearance to make it all right by busting a few heads and moving the plot along. I guess we have to be satisfied with Teddy Roosevelt instead.
Another Audible Addict
I keep trying to get into this book, to no avail. I am really disappointed, because of all the 4 star reviews, I thought this would be a great book. To me it just drools on, and on, and I can't seem to stay connected. It's actually hard work to read it. The style of writing is very complex and meander's all around without a point.
After half way into the first chapter I couldn't really tell you where it's headed, or clearly what it's about. My mind looses the connection of what the writer is trying to convey in feeling and thought, from the beginning of every sentence to the end. The monotone voice of the narrator doesn't help.
I love period pieces and also love most long books, so that has nothing to do with it.
In fact the style and descriptions do not make me feel like I am in the early 1900's at all, but a very complex current day, with antique objects
just thrown in for effect. This book should be re-written and condensed into 10 or 11 hours, with no sentences longer than 15 words, and then it might work? That is of course, with a more expressive narrator.
I hope I didn't loose a credit on this one!
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