Set in 1896, Carr's novel about a serial killer lose in New York City was a 25-week PW bestseller. (July)
A serial killer is butchering boy prostitutes in New York City. Police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt enlists a reporter and groundbreaking psychologist (known as an "alienist" in 1896) to track the killer by compiling his psychological profile. The real mystery here, however, lies in finding out what happens in the sections of the novel that were abridged. Who are all these characters? How did they jump to their apparently absurd conclusions? Where is the social history of the city and the celebrity cameos that the printed book's reviewers found so enticing? To judge by the level of suspense reader Edward Hermann can generate during selected passages, this may be a very good novel. Libraries would do best to wait for an unabridged release or stick with the print version.-John Hiett, Iowa City P.L.