The Alienist

The Alienist

Book - 2006 | Random House trade pbk. ed.
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When a madman begins stalking victims on the streets of 1896 New York, a team of investigators is forced to apply radical and untested techniques that include fingerprinting and the controversial science of psychology.
Publisher: New York : Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2006.
Edition: Random House trade pbk. ed.
ISBN: 9780812976144
Characteristics: 498 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm


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An historical crime thriller with investigators using forensic science to solve the murders.

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CCPL_Theresa Aug 21, 2020

This fast-paced atmospheric novel takes place during the Gilded Age in New York City combining both the upper class extravagances and the poorly squalor of the time. A serial killer has been targeting boy prostitutes. Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or “alienist” with his ragtag crew go about solving the murders with help of early forensics and criminology. If you are looking for a dark murder mystery/investigative procedural this is the series for you. Once you’ve read the book I recommend watching the TV series.

Oct 09, 2019

I found this book by watching the show of the same name. And let me just say that I am a sucker for historical dramas and mystery in general. The way it describes the struggle of late 1800s New York and how the psychological aspect of how certain events can shape you into the person you are today. The story line will leave you on the edge of your seat, wondering why the people in the story do what they do and how it will affect everyone. The alienist truly is one of the best mystery/thriller novels I have ever read. But I will say the concept of the mystery and who is involved is highly disturbing. (3.5/5 stars)
- @katxkatina of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

May 29, 2019

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May 24, 2019

I watched the tv series on TNT and really enjoyed it, but couldn't get in to the book. I made it to about page 100 and gave up. I lost interest as the story line started very slow. Also, my personal opinion... the font type was so small I got frustrated.

Feb 07, 2019

Plot. People. Place. Great cliffhangers, vivid setting, compelling characters, and cutting-edge crime-fighting.

Dec 29, 2018

Excellent novel, moody and true to the impoverished of london of the victorian era. Great storyline, the characters are desperately human and heartbreaking. The plot is eerie and keeps you guessing. Loved this book.

Beaverton_BethG Nov 29, 2018

A fascinating book with great historical information and real-life figures. If you enjoy books/TV shows about criminal profiling and detective work, this is for you. I will warn that there is quite a bit of disturbing violence.

DPLchandra Apr 03, 2018

Whether you're watching the new series based on this book or not, the book is worth reading!

Aug 11, 2017

Fast-paced and gripping, infused with a historian’s exactitude, The Alienist conjures up the Gilded Age and its untarnished underside: verminous tenements and opulent mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. Here is a New York during an age when questioning society’s belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and mortal consequences.


Dec 24, 2016

This has all the elements of a good story except the most critical: editing. The level of detail and description is excruciating and beyond even the worst 19th century fiction. Even the author runs out of steam: if the second half of this book was as thorough as the first it could easily be longer than War and Peace. Save your time, read something else!

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notTom Dec 16, 2010

Dr. Laszlo Kreizler is a child psychologist who learns of a series of brutal killings in 1896 New York City. Believing that criminal minds can be formed early in childhood, he introduces the idea of profiling. To identify and apprehend the killer, he puts together a team of investigators to delve into the dark underworld of the city, using scientific methods that were state-of-the-art at the time, such as fingerprinting. Told through the eyes of Kreizler's long-time friend and journalist John Schuyler Moore, the detailed description of New York City and its people (including historical figures Theodore Roosevelt and J.P. Morgan) on the verge of the 20th century is clever and entrancing. Those who enjoy Sherlock Holmes will certainly enjoy the cool, calculating Dr. Kreizler, who, as a prophet of 20th forensics, uses science and not just logic, to solve the crime.


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May 20, 2015

Other: child abuse


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