|Plot Summary of The Alienist|
|""The Alienist" is Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychiatrist whose theories on the relationship between mental illness and criminal behavior have led him to advocate modern forensic and psychological profiling techniques as the means of solving crimes in 19th century New York City. His ideas have been met with stiff resistance from within the city's hide-bound police department.
In 1896, the city is faced with something it's never seen before: a serial killer on the loose. Within a matter of weeks, six young boys – all of them recent immigrants to the United States – have been mercilessly slaughtered by a bloodthirsty monster on the loose in New York.
Enter Dr. Kreizler, who wants to employ the forensic and profiling techniques that he's so long advocated. With the grudging approval of Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt, he assembles a team of what can only be described as misfits to assist him in his efforts.
What follows is a completely engrossing, lightning-paced, thrill-a-minute story as Kreizler and his team gather evidence from the crime scenes, analyze that evidence, and begin formulating a picture of the serial killer. It soon becomes evident that the person they're looking for is deeply disturbed; highly intelligent; and, as it turns out, watching them as they go about their work.
Mike Powers, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of The Alienist|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
descript. of violence and chases - 10%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 70%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 20%
Tone of story
- suspenseful (sophisticated fear)
How difficult to spot villain?
- Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues
Time/era of story:
- 19th century
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
- chronically deranged person
Murder of certain profession?
Misc. Murder Plotlets
- Big focus on forensic evidence
- Killer purposely leaves clues
Kind of investigator
- psychiatrist investigator
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
- private investigator
How much violence does he/she use?
- a little
How sensitive is this character?
- sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Very much smarter than other characters
- average physique
How much of work is main antagonist actually present in:
- a moderate amount
Motive of antagonist
- scientific labs
- mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death?
- moderately detailed references to deaths
How many deaths?
- 8 or more
Amount of dialog
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog
Click here for more information about this book
Caleb Carr Resident Scholar Profiles|
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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