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Surrender, New York: A Novel by Caleb Carr

Surrender, New York: A Novel

by Caleb Carr

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I wanted to love this book, and I did finish it, although it was certainly a job. Simply put, there was so much detail that it ruined the narrative. :( ( )
  macescamilla | Jul 16, 2017 |
(33) Ugh. Although it has probably been 20 years or so, I actually remember thinking his earlier novels set in 19th century NYC were pretty good, 'The Alienist' in particular. But either I was not as discerning then or his novels have seriously gone downhill. This was about a crippled criminal profiler and his investigator side kick and they get involved in a series of what seem to be murders of "throwaway kids" - older children that have been abandoned by their parents. L.T. falls for the blind older sister of one of these orphans and they join his investigative team. The case drones endlessly on and features ridiculous things like a pet cheetah, a diatribe against CSI, criminal justice students solving the case over Skype, etc., etc.

600 pages it took to resolve and it I couldn't care less by the end. I debated stopping this novel, but something kept me reading which garners a 1/2 star. I don't know, as I get older, I need to willing to pull the trigger and abandon books that are crappy. Life is too short. Oh well - I need to re-think keeping my old copies of 'The Alienist' and 'Angel of Darkness' on my library shelf. Into the pile for the Used Book Store they go. ( )
  jhowell | Jul 8, 2017 |
Very info-dumpy. Narrator likes the sound of his own voice. Banter between him and Li is forced. Enough with the ethnic teasing. Can't you just spell it 'huh'? And noised? Ugh. Giant detour into revolutionary war history, oy. A pocket watch? And in a vest pocket no less. Affectation for affectation's sake. Omg Carr has NO ear for dialog. 60 some pages was all I could take.
  Bookmarque | Jun 14, 2017 |
Surrender, New York, Caleb Carr, author; Tom Taylorson, narrator
Two forensic scientists, Dr. Trajan Jones and Dr. Michael Li, were essentially ousted from their jobs in New York City because of their methods of investigation, and because they exposed the corruption and incompetence existing within law enforcement.
They resettled and set up shop in upstate New York in a town called Surrender on the property of Trajan’s eccentric Aunt Clarissa. She was not known to have a great love for the people in law enforcement, so she welcomed them and prepared a space for them to live and work. Trajan rescued a cheetah, Marcianna, from death when it was diagnosed with Feline Leukemia, his aunt gave him a piece of property to set up and use as her den. She is well-loved, perhaps excessively, and well cared for by Trajan. Both Jones and Li worked out of a converted vintage airplane which they fitted out with whatever equipment they needed. From that plane, they taught an online, college course in criminology. They are an unusual pair of partners who banter back and forth, sometimes with ridiculously immature comments. In addition, the language is often unnecessarily coarse. They seem quite immature for adults who are educated professionals.
When the two were quietly asked to clandestinely participate in an investigation of a stream of suicides, they accepted, but encountered resistance from the state police force since their reputation preceded their arrival in Surrender. Police officers resented them for their past work history. Their participation, though, turned out to be critical and a major contribution to the solving of the mysterious number of suicides of young high school age students, students who were abandoned by their families.
When a young high school student, Lucas trespassed on their property with his friend Derrick, the doctors discovered that Lucas held many clues to the suicide investigation. He actually knew them, or of them. The scientists, perhaps against their better judgment, enlisted his help in their investigation; both boys, Lucas and Derrick, were wards of Lucas’s 20 year-old, blind sister, Amber. Both had been abandoned by their parents. Lucas, who was already studying forensic science at school jumped at the opportunity to help, Derrick opted out. He was often referred to as developmentally challenged. During the ensuing days of the investigation, they created a team of investigators, also enlisting the help of Aunt Clarissa, Amber and a group of their students, to provide them with alternate insights into the mystery of these throw away children who are doing away with themselves.
As the story progressed it twisted and turned, planting different suspicions in the mind of the reader and creating ancillary themes which seemed to distract and unnecessarily complicate the story. Often extraneous details were introduced that added nothing but length. When a romance blossomed between Lucas’s sister and Trajan, although he was almost twice her age, I found I had to skip over the scenes, they were so inappropriate.
There are many distractions. There is a cheetah that takes on the role of an important character, a one legged investigator who doesn’t seem to have as much trouble getting around as he should considering the amount of pain he often experiences from a disease which might be advancing, a retarded child who has occasional moments of lucidity beyond his scope, a precocious child who wants to be treated as an adult and often acts like one, a guardian who acts like a harlot, a sniper who is hidden in the woods shooting at unsuspecting characters; there are missed obvious opportunities to discover clues, some events that seem overly contrived, as when Mike’s girlfriend, a New York detective is run off the road under suspicious circumstances and doesn’t turn up for so long that one wonders why she was introduced in the first place, or when Trajan and Amber are smooching in a closet while law enforcement and media surround the house because Derrick has disappeared. It was totally out of the realm of reality. The author took every opportunity to mock the system of law enforcement and inserted social themes like immigration, parental neglect, environmental protection, media corruption, racism, economic disparity and even homosexuality, seemingly just for the purpose of inclusion.
This is not Caleb Carr’s finest hour. The dialogue is hackneyed, infantile, crude, and often feels condescending to the reader. The characters seem like children in adult’s clothing, and the children occasionally seemed more mature than the adults, and were capable of making more common sense assumptions and judgments.
There was a lot of misdirection and the ending was a surprise of sorts, but the route from beginning to end was too convoluted and too long; the plot slowly became less credible. However, there were so many interesting asides that introduced many little known facts, that I believe, absent the crude language, foolish sex scenes, excessive details and the circuitous route to the conclusion of this diabolical plan to rid the area of throw-away children, that the book might have been much more satisfying as the pair exposed the corruption at the very top, unmasked the villains, and solved the case. ( )
  thewanderingjew | Mar 28, 2017 |
This did not hold my interest, and I abandoned it before finishing. ( )
  phyllis.shepherd | Mar 19, 2017 |
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The case did not so much burst upon as creep over Burgoyne County, New York, just as the sickness that underlay it only took root in the region slowly, insidiously, and long before the first body was found.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679455698, Hardcover)

Caleb Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness, returns with a contemporary, edge-of-your-seat thriller featuring Dr. Trajan Jones, a criminal psychologist—and the world’s leading expert on the life and work of one Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, the hero of The Alienist, in whose brilliant but unconventional footsteps he follows.

In the small town of Surrender in upstate New York, Trajan Jones, a psychological profiler, and Dr. Michael Li, a trace evidence expert, teach online courses in profiling and forensic science from Jones’s family farm. Once famed advisors to the New York City Police Department, Trajan and Li now work in exile, having made enemies of those in power. Protected only by farmhands and Jones’s unusual “pet,” the outcast pair is unexpectedly called in to consult on a disturbing case.

In rural Burgoyne County, a pattern of strange deaths has emerged: adolescent boys and girls are found murdered in gruesome fashion. Senior law enforcement officials are quick to blame a serial killer, yet their efforts to apprehend this criminal are peculiarly ineffective.

Jones and Li soon discover that the victims are all “throwaway children,” a new state classification of young people who are neither orphans, runaways, nor homeless, but who are abandoned by their families and left to fend for themselves. Two of these throwaways, Lucas Kurtz and his older sister, cross paths with Jones and Li, offering information that could blow the case wide open.

As the stakes grow higher, Jones and Li must not only unravel the mystery of how the throwaways died, but also defend themselves and the Kurtz siblings against shadowy agents who don’t want them to uncover the truth. Jones believes the real story leads back to the city where both he and Dr. Kreizler did their greatest work. But will they be able to trace the case to New York before they fall victim to the murderous forces that stalk them?

Tautly paced and richly researched, Surrender, New York brings to life the grim underbelly of a prosperous nation—and those most vulnerable to its failings. This brilliant novel marks another milestone in Caleb Carr’s triumphant literary suspense career.

Praise for the works of New York Times bestselling author Caleb Carr

The Alienist is:

“A high-spirited, charged-up and unfailingly smart thriller.”—Los Angeles Times

“A first-rate tale of crime and punishment that will keep readers guessing until the final pages.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Gripping, atmospheric . . . intelligent and entertaining.”—USA Today

The Angel of Darkness is:

“As winning a historical thriller as The Alienist. . . . The reader keeps right on turning the pages.”—The New York Times

The Legend of Broken is:

“An excellent and old-fashioned entertainment.”—The Washington Post

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 27 Apr 2016 22:29:48 -0400)

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