Book Review: The Alienist by Caleb Carr

The blurb

Some things never change.

New York City, 1896. Hypocrisy in high places is rife, police corruption commonplace, and a brutal killer is terrorising young male prostitutes. Unfortunately for Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt, the psychological profiling of murderers is a practice still in its infancy, struggling to make headway against the prejudices of those who prefer the mentally ill – and the ‘alienists’ who treat them – to be out of sight as well as out of mind. But as the body count rises, Roosevelt swallows his doubts and turns to the eminent alienist Dr Laszlo Kreizler to put a stop to the bloody murders – giving Kreizler a chance to take him further into the dark heart of criminality, and one step closer to death.



My thoughts

Here’s another book that I bought on a 99p Kindle deal and really had my money’s worth!

Although the beginning is very heavy on the psycho babble, which did put me off somewhat, this is like the mother of all psychological thrillers!  It’s very dark and disturbing and certainly not for the faint-hearted as they’re graphic images of child murders which will not be to everyone’s taste.  Once I got past all the psychiatry stuff it’s a gripping and race against time murder mystery!

I loved the setting, the period in which it was set and Sara’s character and her dogged determination to the first woman working in the New York police department.

If you need any more convincing to read (or watch) this, a modern day equivalent would be The Mentalist but soooo much darker!

Since reading the book I have watched the Netflix adaptation which is very good too and apart from the ending stays very true to the book, loved the cast selection!

Book links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Small print for info
Source: Purchased
No of pages: 544
Publisher: Sphere


  1. 2nd October 2018 / 8:41 am

    I spied this on Netflix and then at the library but haven’t watched or read yet as I was never sure what it was about. Your review sums it up quite nicely and think it’s something I’d enjoy. Adding it to the TBR.

    • Lindsay | Bookboodle
      2nd October 2018 / 7:45 pm

      Great – I hope you enjoy it too 🙂

  2. 2nd October 2018 / 4:51 pm

    Fab review Lindsay. I did start to watch this on Netflix a while ago but it couldn’t have grabbed me as I didn’t continue…

  3. Lindsay | Bookboodle
    2nd October 2018 / 7:47 pm

    Thanks! Ahh, that’s a shame. The whole presentation of it is rather dark so not to everyone’s taste 🙂

  4. 3rd October 2018 / 7:56 pm

    Ohhh I just saw the first few chapters of this on Netflix the other day and I had no idea it was based on a book! Wonderful review; definitely one for my wishlist.

    • Lindsay | Bookboodle
      27th October 2018 / 7:49 pm

      Have you got much further with it?

      • 27th October 2018 / 8:32 pm

        I confess I haven’t been watching TV much lately (I prefer reading xD), but I’m hoping to get a few chapters in soon!

  5. 4th October 2018 / 5:02 pm

    Ah I’ve seen this on Netflix and didn’t realise it was based on a book, I will definitely give it a try now. Got to love those kindle 99p deals, I’ve picked up some great books that way!

    • Lindsay | Bookboodle
      27th October 2018 / 7:41 pm

      I must admit I’m more inclined to try new authors if the prices are a bit cheaper 🙂

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