by michelle, May 25, 2005 12:38 PM
A mystery that takes place in New York City in the late 1800's; an investigation of a serial killer in the days when Jack the Ripper was the only known serial criminal and before forensics were what they are today, when skeptics laughed at the idea of fingerprinting for evidence. Carr explains in the introduction that the term alienist once referred to psychologists: the doctors who attend to those who have become "alienated" from themselves and from society. Psychologists, themselves, were considered a bit wack-o to want to spend hours in prison cells interviewing lunatics and studying the warped personalities of criminals. Anyway, I won't give it all away in this review. Let me just say it's a page turner!