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
While many fabulous, intellectually satisfying books in this genre were written prior to the "if it doesn't fit, you must acquit" TV trial debacle which first exposed the use of DNA evidence or lack thereof as an emerging critical factor necessary to prove or disprove a vicious murder to our collective minds, this book is especially interesting as it takes place on the cusp of the efforts to allow science into the courtroom. We see the same beloved, quirky and flawed group from the previous book, The Alienist, attempt to use "new science gimmicks" such as fingerprint evidence, create tests and procedures to provide clear scientific proof that bullets were fired from the same gun and ponder blood evidence even before science could identify blood types and if blood was from a human. Then for the Coup de Gras of courtroom scenes that make Grisham seem a piker...enters the young Clarence Darrow many years prior to his Scopes trial fame. Wow. You just have to read this as I doubt you'd suspect/guess how it unfolds and just how amazingly unique Darrow's persona and approach was in a courtroom. I think many readers will fully enter and experience a great turn of the last century period piece; a slice of life in New York, where investigators sparred with corrupt police, good police, real life characters such as Teddy Roosevelt when he was the Secretary of War, mob bosses, a very intense, truly evil manipulating villainess...just a really great varied cast of characters. There is a lot of talk about the political situation with Spain I didn't care about so I ignored it. Please note that I did not read The Alienist before this book. This book has a lot of discussion (spoilers) about how the events from the earlier book impacted characters and events in this book so while you do not need to read the first book you may want to do so, but I'm not sure. For instance, even though I first read later books by Jo Nesbo, I went back to the beginning primarily to learn more about Harry.
A devout Audible junkie. Gotta have a book going all of the time, working, driving . . . LOVE my audio books.
Been listening to his performances for years. He's like the gold standard of book readers, one of the very best. If I'm considering buying a book, the fact that Guidall is the reader can seal the deal for me.
Pretty much. It was hard to put down.
Really liked both of the "Alienist" books. Bought this second one immediately after reading the first. I think this one was even better. The characters were more developed and it was more character - driven, less gruesome. I so hope that Caleb Carr continues this as a series. It's a fascinating time period and I love the cast of characters. It's a pity that the first book never made it to the big screen.
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!
I listened to the abridged version of this book and enjoyed it so much that I decided to get the unabridged. It's a good story and is the type of book that I tend to look for. It's set in 1897, and is a refreshing step back in time when detecting was difficult and proving a crime even more so.
Read the book description to get an idea of the story. There are so many characters, that it's difficult for me to pick a favorite one. They're all important to the story.
Caleb Carr's characters are well developed and that is a big reason why I like this book. A flaw in my character maybe, but I have to like the main characters otherwise I find it difficult to spend time with them as the story is told. The main characters have idiosyncracies and flaws, but likable all the same.
The story is, at times, a bit plodding, as Carr takes you through the process of developing proof and collecting evidence which was difficult at best during that time. You eventually find that Carr's development of the story builds up to interesting events in the book, so stick with it if it gets a bit ponderous at times.
George Guidall is an excellent narrator, and I've listened to many books he's narrated. I listened to the abridged version of this book first, narrated by Boyd Gaines, and found that I preferred Gaines' version. Gaines did the accents and tones of the characters which made their personalities stand out a bit more. He is hard to top for this book.
If Carr ever writes another book like this one or The Alienist, I'd get it without hesitation. Highly recommend.
What's going on here is very interesting. It seems Caleb Carr is writing each book in this series from a different one of the character's perspective. The first book was from the perspective of journalist John Schuyler Moore and the second from point of view of young Stevie, one of the many street kids that Dr. Laslo Kreizler has saved through is institute. There are strong hints in this, the second book of the series that the next book will be written in the words of Sarah Howard.
These books fit all the criteria that I look for - long, entertaining, great reader, and solid historical fiction. Both books feature Teddy Roosevelt as a character and lots of character development and detailed historical setting. I really like these books. If you like mysteries, court room dramas, investigation adventure books, and historical fiction these books are for you.
I would recommend this book, and it's predecessor, to anyone who enjoys well written, thought provoking historical fiction. Although obviously not alive during the time in which this novel is set I felt when listening to this book that I was there, smelling the rain on the cobblestones and the smoke wafting over from the window where Stevie Taggert sat smoking yet another cigarette. The narration and writing were of a quality that at times inspired me to imagine I could hear the background noises in the streets as the characters progressed from one scene to the next. The dialogue and story were both so well done I couldn't read quickly enough and felt almost as though it was me sneaking into a cellar or hiding from an unruly mob. If you haven't yet listend to this novel I recommend you do so now, you won't regret it
The plot was well written and cohesive. The characters were all very unique and the narrator did an exceptional job giving each one a well defined personality and manner of speech. The narration was key to keeping the level of suspense consistent and relateable; this in combination with the Author's story telling ability makes this a book I will likely read and/or listen to again just for the enjoyment of it.
Any of the scenes involving the brothers Isaacson made me smile. Their sibling rivalry coupled with the fact that they could set it aside to get the work done added to the realism of the novel for me. I have an older sister with whom I do not always agree but when the going gets tough that's all put aside, just as it was for Marcus and Lucius Isaacson. Very 'human' characters. P.S. Heath, Mum still loves me more :)
It wasn't so much a single moment which moved me the most while listening to this novel; Dr. Kreizler's coming to terms with the suicide of the young boy in his care at the institute during the opening chapters of this book developed into an ongoing issue throughout the story and somehow became as big a part of the plot as the abduction of little Anna. It was impossible for me to listen to this book and not be affected by the pain and inner struggles the doctor goes through despite his attempts to keep it hidden from the other characters
I had read The Alienist many years ago and enjoyed the story very much despite believing it was a stand-alone novel; I was exceptionally pleased to find the characters making a second appearance in The Angel of Darkness and hope there will be another in this series sooner than later.
I read this book in high school. I was so moved at the time, that the plot and villan inspired my senior paper. When I saw it on Audible 14 years later, I decided to see if I still felt the same way. Wow. Yes, I couldn't "put it down"...again. Between the depth of each character, the action, and the juxtaposition of all the situations, it is one you seriously can't pass up.
Very good. Carr continues to deliver. Like all his books, listener must pay attention to details to fully enjoy. Cannot wait for next (?) installment.
Geek, Gamer who hates wasting credits.
Very well done historical mystery, not as good as the Alienist, so start there but if you want more after reading Alienist look no further.
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.
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