A compelling novel with unique and engaging characters and the ever present sights sounds and smells of 1890's New York as its stage.
550 pages into the book, I decided I couldn't read the whole book and I jumped to the last 10 pages. Then a curious thing happened. Bit by bit, I went back to find out what happened and ended up eventually reading all 200 pages I'd skipped. A light dawned.
I couldn't finish, I realized, because of the overwhelming feeling of dread, of impending doom that hung over the earnest, well-meaning players in the tale. I couldn't take the tense suspense! Once I knew the outcome, I had to go back and read how and why and fill in the gaps to the story.
That's one heck of a book, don't you think?
The Alienist was definitely better. The characters in The Angel of Darkness are interesting enough, but they are rather flat. None of them have real dimension and stereotypes (as well as anti-stereotypes) rear their ugly heads. Additionally, the plot has serious credibility issues. Finally, the author's attempt at period dialect is awkward and inconsistent. That said, I finished it and was mildly entertained.
I read the first book, The Alienist, and enjoyed it thoroughly. Thus, when I saw there was a sequel, this book, The Angel of Darkness, I was excited to read that as well. I was not disappointed. Both books are engaging. Mr. Carr does have a talent for these early century historical, crime thriller type stories.