The Angel of Darkness (Laszlo Kreizler and John Schuyler Moore, Bk 2)
The Angel of Darkness - Laszlo Kreizler and John Schuyler Moore, Bk 2 Author:Caleb Carr It is June 1897. A year has passed since Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a pioneer in forensic psychiatry, tracked down the brutal serial killer John Beecham with the help of a team of trusted companions and a revolutionary application of the principles of his discipline. Kreizler and his friends -- high-living crime reporter John Schuyler Moore; indomitab... more »le, derringer-toting Sara Howard; the brilliant (and bickering) detective brothers Marcus and Lucius Isaacson; powerful and compassionate Cyrus Montrose; and Stevie Taggert, the boy Kreizler saved from a life of street crime -- have returned to their former pursuits and tried to forget the horror of the Beecham case. But when the distraught wife of a Spanish diplomat begs Sara's aid, the team reunites to help find her kidnapped infant daughter. It is a case fraught with danger, since Spain and the United States are on the verge of war. Their investigation leads the team to a shocking suspect: a woman who appears to the world to be a heroic nurse and a loving mother, but who may in reality be a ruthless murderer of children.« less
Wendy L. (wenshapliv) reviewed The Angel of Darkness (Laszlo Kreizler and John Schuyler Moore, Bk 2) on
Helpful Score: 1
Summary from Amazon.com:
Dr. Lazlo Kreizler, protagonist of The Alienist, is back with his idiosyncratic companions in Carr's latest mystery thriller. Set in 1897 New York and told through the voice of the doctor's young ward, Stevie (a former "delinquent" nicknamed "Stevepipe," after his weapon of choice), the story centers on the kidnapping of the baby daughter of a Spanish diplomat just as tensions between Spain and the United States have reached the boiling point. Soon our investigators discover something even more sinister: Their chief suspect seems to have been involved in the murders of several other young children - including two of her own - and to be willing to take any measures necessary to cover her tracks. It becomes a race against time to save this latest victim. The exciting tale is full of the requisite twists and turns and involves such historical figures as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Clarence Darrow, and Teddy Roosevelt. It also makes the point that when it comes to questions of good and evil and the motivations behind seemingly horrific behavior (a la Susan Smith), there are no simple answers.
With The Alienist, I was hooked on the story simply by reading the plot summary on the back of the book. With Angel of Darkness, I wondered how exciting a kidnapping could really be. Don't be fooled like I was, this book is amazing.
While the killer's identity in the Alienist wasn't revealed until the final pages of the book, Angel's killer Libby Hatch is identified in the very first pages. Again, don't be fooled. The 700 pages between identity and conclusion are filled with Carr's amazing grasp of late 19th century New York in addition to all of the crime, court room drama, suspense, forensics, and brainy detective work that was so well done in Alienist.
In some ways I found this book to be even more unsettling, more quietly frightening, and more emotionally draining than the Alienist. The nature of the crimes alone are enough to make you uneasy. Libby Hatch was the embodiment of unpredictable evil hidden in plain sight, playing off society's unrealistic expectations of what it meant in those days to be a woman and a mother. In a sense, I found her to be a more frightening foe than the Alienist's killer.
If you enjoyed the Alienist, I would expect that you would enjoy Angel as well. I found it to be a very worthy sequel, a fantastic read, and well worth my time.
If you love historical fiction,this book is for you. The Angel Of Darkness covers it all- turn of the century New York city; the police force of the time; women's issues of the time; and the mental health and social history of the time all through very ingaging characters with a great plot.