Book Review of The Alienist

The Alienist
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Widely acclaimed thriller, a New York Times bestseller, about a serial killer. This book is well researched and fits into the historical fiction category. An in-depth look at New York City in 1896; all the corruption, poverty, mobsters, houses of prostitution and gin mills that existed in that "Golden Era". Prior to the 20th Century, doctors who studied mental pathologies were known as "Alienists" (today we call them psychologists). This tale is about an unlikely team of sleuths: a reporter, a secretary, a police commissioner and an alienist. Together they set out to capture a macabre murderer who is preying on young boys. This book details a very real, dark side of child exploitation. It also presents a new concept for the time-the psychological profile of a killer. This novel reads like an old steam engine, I thought it was a bit of a struggle in the beginning to grasp the story, the parts are fragmented and the momentum is slow. But, once the mental profiling and forensics begin to evolve, the momentum picks up, this tale becomes gripping and hard to put down. I thought the ending was a bit of an anti-climax compared to the earlier chapters. Many topics for discussion-a good book.