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The Angel of Darkness (1997)

by Caleb Carr

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (2)

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4,233662,825 (3.73)133
A Spanish diplomat's wife has her baby snatched in 1890s New York and the case is given to psychiatrist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and his young assistant who narrates the tale. The probe leads them to a nurse turned serial killer of children, including her own. By the author of The Alienist.
  1. 100
    The Alienist by Caleb Carr (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: From the case files of Dr. Lazlo Kreizler, a fictitious early practitioner of what is know known as Psychology.
  2. 20
    Paradise Alley by Kevin Baker (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: If you like historical novels of early New York, this one's for you.
  3. 10
    The Death Instinct by Jed Rubenfeld (PghDragonMan)
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» See also 133 mentions

English (62)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (65)
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
Very good follow up to ?The Alienist?, this one about a woman serial murderer who kills her children or wards. Long (626 pgs) & plodding but good story.
  derailer | Jan 25, 2024 |
All those who read and loved Caleb Carr's "The Alienist" were ecstatic to once again take a carriage ride over the cobblestone streets of Old New York as a mystery is solved. This one involves the kidnapping of a woman's child which becomes a race against time when Dr. Lazlo Kreizler uses psychiatry to paint a portrait of a very dangerous woman.

Stevie tells the story this time rather than Moore, as our group of friends use Dr. Kreizler's revolutionary methods to solve this mystery. He is a pioneering Alienist, and together with John Moore, Sara Howard, the Isaacsons and Kreizler's servant, Cyrus, a riveting and at times edge-of-your-seat adventure springs forth.

Carr is so good that before you realize it you are in Old New York at the turn of the century, and so in-love with these people that you hate to leave them for sleep or work. The author does for Old New York and psychiatry what John Dunning did for old books in his Cliff Janeway series. Even at a hefty 600 pages your interest never lags, as is the case with all great books. When that last page is turned you will do so reluctantly, sad that such a great book has ended.

The characters Carr creates are all too human and real, as is the time period. There are moments of action and suspense that keep you turning pages as quickly as you can read. The historical figures are not just thrown in to evoke the time period as some writers of historical fiction do. Carr makes them come alive, just as he did with Dr. Kreizler's friend Theodore Roosevelt in "The Alienist." The solving of the prior Beechum case came at a great personal price to Dr. Kreizler, and in "The Angel of Darkness" Stevie will grow up and face tragedy of his own.

Perhaps this isn't quite as riveting or as freely-flowing as the The Alienist, as noted by others, but since we only have the two, it seems hardly fair to knock off a star for what the book isn't, rather than celebrating how good it is. I truly believe, if The Alienist did not exist, and expectations based on that so high, this one would be viewed in an entirely more favorable light by readers.

Return to Delmonico's where great food is still served and your old friends John, Sara, Stevie and Cyrus are planning their next move against a kidnapper and a murderer of children in Old New York. It is one trip where the journey itself is time well-spent. ( )
  Matt_Ransom | Oct 6, 2023 |
I enjoyed the historical detail. Carr is a master of setting, really evoking the time and place. However, this book really dragged for me. Every scene just always felt a bit too long. While I enjoyed the 'intrusion' of historical characters into the narrative, I thought the ending was really contrived with the inclusion of Teddy Roosevelt and the U.S. Navy. I was also on the fence with the character of El Nino. He just wasn't believable. I liked to focus on a female criminal and the way she broke the existing stereotypes for women of the era, even as she tried to conform to them. I would have liked more psychology and less about gangs. The criminal trial was very interesting, with the surprise inclusion of Clarence Darrow, but again went on too long. ( )
  TheGalaxyGirl | Jul 24, 2022 |
Good story beautifully written but tedious sometimes be a use of unnecessary detail. At 600 pages, too long. ( )
  ibkennedy | Jul 10, 2022 |
again with the graphic, again with the good storytelling ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carr, Calebprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gaines, BoydNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martinache, JacquesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"It is not having been in the dark house, but having left it, that counts" -- Theodore Roosevelt
Dedication
To my mother and father
First words
There's likely some polished way of starting a story like this, a clever bit of gaming that'd sucker people in surer than the best banco feeler in town.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

A Spanish diplomat's wife has her baby snatched in 1890s New York and the case is given to psychiatrist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and his young assistant who narrates the tale. The probe leads them to a nurse turned serial killer of children, including her own. By the author of The Alienist.

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Book description
Kidnapping of Senor Narcisco Linares' child.
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