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The Angel of Darkness (1997)

de Caleb Carr

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: The Alienist (2), Laszlo Kreizler (02), Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (2)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
3,703592,450 (3.72)109
A year after the events narrated in the bestselling THE ALIENIST, the cast of characters from that novel are again brought together to investigate a crime committed in the heady days of New York in the 1890s, but this time narrated by the orphan Stevie Taggert. A young child, the daughter of Spanish diplomats, disappears. It seems she has been abducted but no ransom note is received and the detectives Isaacson quickly discover that a nurse, Elspeth Hunter, is probably the kidnapper. They also discover that Hunter has been a little too closely connected with the death of three other infants. But what are her motives? She married a fortune, and although she is connected to some fairly rough villains this crime does not fit their modus operandi. Is it something as 'simple' as psychological disturbance due to her own inability to bear children, or something more sinister unguessed at?… (més)
  1. 90
    L'Alienista (Catalan Edition) de Caleb Carr (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: From the case files of Dr. Lazlo Kreizler, a fictitious early practitioner of what is know known as Psychology.
  2. 10
    Paradise Alley de Kevin Baker (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: If you like historical novels of early New York, this one's for you.
  3. 00
    The Death Instinct de Jed Rubenfeld (PghDragonMan)
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Needed some plot editing ( )
  cygnet81 | Dec 25, 2020 |
The Angel of Darkness - Caleb Carr
Audio performance by George Guidall
4 stars

I read The Alienist in 2008 and bought this book at a library sale soon after. It has been on my shelf ever since, in an ‘I’ll get to it sometime’ waiting zone of books that don’t have a library due date. I’m glad I’ve finally read it. At 770 pages it required a significant amount of time and effort even with a borrowed audiobook to move it along.

This book returns to the characters that I enjoyed in The Alienist. It is told in the voice of an adult Stevie Taggert as he looks back on his own adolescence and recalls one of Dr. Lazlo Kreizler’s difficult murder investigations. There are several historical characters integrated into the story, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the painters Albert Pinkham Ryder and Celia Beaux, Clarence Darrow, and a very unlikely finale appearance of Theodore Roosevelt.

The mystery begins in June 1897, with the kidnapping of a Spanish diplomat’s infant daughter. The United States is on the brink of war with Spain, a political complication that forms an unlikely background for the story. I thought there were many unlikely elements to this plot. They created a vibrant picture of the time and place, but were at the same time too fantastic to be believable. How likely is it that a foreign diplomat would stay silent following the kidnapping of his daughter and beat his wife to prevent her from seeking help? Not to mention, Theodore Roosevelt’s appearance with the US Navy in the final act. Carr didn’t go to the fantasy extremes of Helprin’s Winter’s Tale, but I had to allow myself to accept a bit of alternative history.

I enjoyed this mystery even though it was dense, slow moving,and long. There is a great deal of suspense involved with the capture and conviction of the truly evil antagonist. It can’t say I enjoy that much tension for over 700 pages. I did like the interactions between the characters and the attention paid to the beginnings of forensic science. I enjoyed the historical characters despite their sometimes improbable inclusion. The book is full of (possibly anachronist) social commentary, much of it still relevant. The nature of the crime, and the gun toting female detective, Sara Howard, make a feminist outlook necessary throughout the book.

The most interesting part of the book was the trial. From jury selection to the final violent conclusion, I was fascinated with legal sparring between the fictional Rupert Picton and the historical Clarence Darrow. This is a Darrow who has yet to reach the peek of his fame. He doesn’t leave a good impression. “And so the new century will bring a new kind of law,' was how Mr. Picton summed things up.....'Proceedings where victims and witnesses are put on trial instead of defendants, where a murderer in identified as 'a woman' instead of an individual....If things go on like this we'll find ourselves in some shadow world, where lawyers use the ignorance of the average citizen to manipulate justice the way priests did in the Middle ages.”

I had the audiobook, but I preferred the text. George Guidall does a good job, but I find his voice annoying over time. ( )
  msjudy | Nov 22, 2020 |
Years later but another good entry in the interesting series. ( )
  jamespurcell | Aug 11, 2020 |
I'm still not sure why I read the first of this series - The Alienist. I generally turn my nose up at historical fiction. But, I did read The Alienist so I grabbed The Angel of Darkness the minute it came out. Carr has out done himself. Both stories take place in Manhattan in the 1880's. Dr. Lazlo Kriegler is comparable to today's forensic psychologist. This tale is told in the voice of Stevie whom Dr. Kriegler adopted from the street. When Dr. Kriegler is asked to help the wife of a Spanish diplomat find her stolen baby, he and his band of helpers, instead, find a female serial killer. The story is fascinating and beautifully told. Can't wait for his next one. ( )
  susandennis | Jun 5, 2020 |
I do enjoy a good historical mystery. It makes me think not just about the crime but about the times the crime was committed. The book is set in New York (city and state) in 1897 and the details are so vivid that I felt like I was walking those streets and riding those horse-drawn vehicles.

The story is told by Steve Taggert from the vantage point of several decades after the action. In 1897 Stevie was a fourteen year old boy who had grown up on the streets of New York City from which he was saved by noted child psychologist Dr. Kreizler. There was a previous book, The Alienist, which detailed how Dr. Kreizler and Stevie and others caught a notorious criminal. In this book the oddball group from that book have reunited to solve the kidnapping of the infant daughter of a Spanish diplomat. In addition to Dr. Kreizler and Stevie the group consists of Miss Sara Howard (a detective specializing in female clients), Mr. John Moore (a journalist), Cyrus Montrose (Dr. Kreizler's aide), and Detective Sargents Lucius and Marcus Isaacson (police detectives who are trying to introduce forensic science into the police department). They quickly determine that the kidnapper is Libby Hatch but Mrs. Hatch is protected by a gang of toughs known for selling and using cocaine. Dr. Kreizler feels that the best chance of getting a conviction against Hatch is to explore her history which leads the group to upper New York state near Saratoga. A friend of Mr. Moore is assistant Deputy Attorney there and he has been wanting to charge the woman with the murders of two of her children and the attempted murder of her daughter some three years previously. Mr. Picton is rather an unusual character but he is an excellent lawyer and with the help of the group of friends he brings Mrs. Hatch to trial. Although evidence against her looks watertight her lawyer, Clarence Darrow before he achieved national fame, manages to decimate every piece. It looks like Libby Hatch might go free to bring harm to the kidnapped girl and possibly more children. And then things get really interesting.

I did feel that there was a little too much time spent on describing the build up to the trial and then the conclusion seemed rushed. All in all it is a solid story though and I'm glad I read it. ( )
  gypsysmom | Apr 10, 2019 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Carr, Calebautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Martinache, JacquesTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Si et cal més ajuda, mira la pàgina d'ajuda del coneixement compartit.
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"It is not having been in the dark house, but having left it, that counts" -- Theodore Roosevelt
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To my mother and father
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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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A year after the events narrated in the bestselling THE ALIENIST, the cast of characters from that novel are again brought together to investigate a crime committed in the heady days of New York in the 1890s, but this time narrated by the orphan Stevie Taggert. A young child, the daughter of Spanish diplomats, disappears. It seems she has been abducted but no ransom note is received and the detectives Isaacson quickly discover that a nurse, Elspeth Hunter, is probably the kidnapper. They also discover that Hunter has been a little too closely connected with the death of three other infants. But what are her motives? She married a fortune, and although she is connected to some fairly rough villains this crime does not fit their modus operandi. Is it something as 'simple' as psychological disturbance due to her own inability to bear children, or something more sinister unguessed at?

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