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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Media > Books > Fiction

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  #1  
Old 09-14-2009, 10:28 PM
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The Grave Maurice The Grave Maurice is offline
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Default The Alienist - Caleb Carr

Yes, I realize this is a rather old book; but, I recently re-read it and I had forgotten how good it is. And there may be people who are unaware of it, since it was published fifteen years ago. Anyway, it’s a beaut. A sort of late-Victorian police procedural on how to catch a serial killer. It is set in New York in 1896, but the Ripper murders are referred to a few times, and the victims are not unlike those chosen by JtR.

Carr is very good at evoking fin-de-siècle Gotham, with vivid descriptions of everything from slimy Lower East Side tenements, to fancy restaurants and the Metropolitan Opera. You’ll probably like this one.
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Old 09-17-2009, 02:21 AM
Esther Wilson Esther Wilson is offline
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I read this book as well....I can't remember all the details of it cause it was a number of years ago that I first came across it, but I know I enjoyed it. It might be worth a re-read for me. I couldn't get into his follow up books probably because they didn't have anything to do with the subject of JtR and his times.
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Old 09-17-2009, 02:32 AM
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The Grave Maurice The Grave Maurice is offline
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Same with me, Esther. I read it when it first came out (1994) and came across my copy again recently. I remembered liking it, but had forgotten how much I liked it.

Nice to hear from you. Like I always say, this site needs more Canadian content.
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Old 09-17-2009, 05:19 AM
BillyE BillyE is offline
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This was the first Caleb Carr book I read, and he's become one of my favorite current authors. I highly recommend this book to any interested in mystery or period piece fiction.
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Old 09-17-2009, 05:48 AM
Dave O Dave O is offline
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I recommend it highly too, I'm a big admirer of Caleb Carr. I think his sequel Angel of Darkness is actually better, as great as The Alienist is. Sometime ago I thought I read that he was working on a third book. Since I haven't seen anything else about it, perhaps it was just a rumor.

Dave
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:59 AM
The Good Michael The Good Michael is offline
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I liked his book Devil Soldier (I think was the title). Well-researched and reads like a novel about a somewhat obscure piece of history that we don't often hear about in the west (though I'm in the east).

About Angel of Darkness: I don't know if it was a better book, but it was a great character study about a sociopath who has no qualms about killing and can live a seeming;y normal life, controlling many who come her way.

Mike
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:37 AM
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I could mention, for those interested in such things, that he also wrote The Italian Secretary, a rather good Sherlock Holmes pastiche.
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Old 09-17-2009, 03:06 PM
c.d. c.d. is offline
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"The Alienist", as they say, was a page turner. I really enjoyed it.

c.d.
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Old 08-08-2015, 09:09 PM
Pcdunn Pcdunn is offline
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I am reading a used copy of this title I got for free awhile back. Just finished the first part, and I'm really enjoying it so far. I like the occasional references to JtR, with the reporter supposedly having been an American journalist in London at the time.

The author really did his research on the time and place, I think.
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Old 03-04-2016, 04:52 PM
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SirJohnFalstaff SirJohnFalstaff is offline
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Don't know if it's the translator's fault or the writers, but I found his prose painful to read.

The stories themselves were quite interesting.

I agree with a previous poster, the second book is superior.
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