The Angel of Darkness
The Angel of Darkness by Caleb Carr.
Hardcover: 629 pages
Publisher: Random House;(September 16, 1997)
In The Angel of Darkness, Caleb Carr brings back the vivid world of his bestselling The Alienist but with a twist: this story is told by the former street urchin Stevie Taggert, whose rough life has given him wisdom beyond his years. Thus New York City, and the groundbreaking alienist Dr. Kreizler himself, are seen anew.
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; indomitable, 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.
Once again, Caleb Carr proves his brilliant ability to re-create the past, both high life and low. As the horror unfolds, Delmonico's still serves up wondrous meals, and a summer trip to the elegant gambling parlors of Saratoga provides precious keys to the murderer's past. At the same time, we go on revealing journeys into Stevie's New York, a place where poor and neglected children--then as now--turn to crime and drugs at shockingly early ages. Peppered throughout are characters taken from real life and rendered with historical vigor, including suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton; painter Albert Pinkham Ryder; and Clarence Darrow, who thunders for the defense in a tense courtroom drama during which the sanctity of American motherhood itself is put on trial. Fast-paced and chilling, The Angel of Darkness is a tour de force, a novel of modern evil in old New York.
Wow! This book used the same characters (plus more) that he had written in The Alienist. To me, The Alienist was excellent, and although it took place in the 1800's in New York, it read like a book written by Charles Dickens.
This book, The Angel of Darkness begins some time after the Alienist and it is nice to be familiar with most of the characters. Once again, it is written in the Dickens style, and once again it was an excellent read! I read one other book by Carr but it didn't come close to these two books! His use of historical people and fiction meld together in such a way you really feel like this is a true story.
I hope the Amazon reviews appeal to you because you won't be disappointed.
Anyone can read The Alienist and not "have to" read The Angel of Darkness. But I would advise they be read in order if you are interested in them so you know the characters well. I hated to see this book end.