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The Angel of Darkness Paperback – Large Print, Sep 1997

3.9 out of 5 stars 262 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Thorndike Pr; Lrg edition (September 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0783882424
  • ISBN-13: 978-0783882420
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 262 customer reviews
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Product Description

From Library Journal

Boyd Gaines skillfully delivers a wide range of voices and characterizations in narrating this potboiler (LJ 10/15/97), the sequel to Carr's The Alienist. The time is June 1897. The place is New York City. The story is narrated by 13-year-old, streetwise Stevie Taggart, who is a member of a team of detecting irregulars. The kidnapping of an 18-month-old child sets the story in motion. The ongoing investigation uncovers a sociopath named Libby Hatch, who is a suspect in the deaths of a frightening number of children, including her own. Using the relatively new fields of forensics and psychoanalysis, and calling on the assistance of some well-known "names" (Teddy Roosevelt, Franz Boaz, Cornelius Vanderbuilt), the team runs Libby Hatch to earth. But where is the child she recently abducted? The clever zigzags of this thriller finally answer this question. Well recommended.?Joanna Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Sch. of Continuing Education, Providence
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

An absorbing if overlong sequel to Carr's popular 1994 thriller, The Alienist. As in that novel, the figures of ``alienist'' (i.e., psychologist) Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, investigative journalist John Schuyler Moore, and Kreizler's assistant Stevie ``Stevepipe'' Taggert (who tells the story) figure prominently in the investigation of a peculiarly dastardly crime. The year is 1897, and Carr's plot is initiated by the kidnapping of a Spanish diplomat's baby--then thickens, quite pleasurably, as suspicion falls on Elspeth Hunter, a malevolent nurse who is actually Libby Hatch, a malevolent gang moll and the suspected murderess of her own children. The pursuit, capture, and attempted conviction of Libby involve such notable historical figures as painter Albert Pinkham Ryder, women's-rights crusader Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Libby's defense attorney Clarence Darrow (who dominates a fascinating extended courtroom scene), and (back also from The Alienist) New York City Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt, who commandeers the US Navy to aid in the story's climactic pursuit. Carr overloads his tale with digressive comments on ever-worsening political relations between the US and Cuba (though one can argue such passages' relevance to the novel's initial mystery), and disastrously slows down the otherwise absorbing courtroom scenes by including needless detailed summaries of cases of child murder offered as precedents. But these are minor blemishes. Carr has learned to plot since The Alienist, and this novel usually moves at a satisfyingly rapid pace. The ambiance is convincingly thick and period-flavorful, the murderous details satisfyingly gruesome, and even the somewhat shaky central ethical question--whether ``a woman's murdering her own kids . . . could actually be looked at as her trying to gain control over her life and her world''--is quite convincingly presented. As for the nefarious Libby--presented, with perfect appropriateness, only as others see and hear her--she rivals Lydia Gwilt of Wilkie Collins's Armadale as the pluperfect villainess, and the centerpiece of an enormously entertaining and satisfying reading experience. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
In "The Angel of Darkness", Caleb Carr returns his readers to the atmospheric, intriguing, rough and tumble world of late nineteenth century New York. The story is told through the eyes of Stevie Taggert, a former young thug rescued from a miserable life and almost certain early death as a street kid already up to his eyes in street crime and drugs by his guardian, Dr Laszlo Kreizler, the famous psychiatrist first introduced to us in "The Alienist".

During the politically troubled era preceding the onset of the Spanish-American War, the wife of a Spanish diplomat, whose baby has been kidnapped, frantically appeals to Sara Howard, a private detective and proud feminist who specializes in helping troubled women, for help to rescue the child before it is murdered. Sara in turn appeals to her friend, Dr Kreizler and their colleagues for their assistance in this most puzzling case - Stevie Taggert, Cyrus Montrose, Kreizler's faithful man-servant, Jonathan Moore, crime reporter for the New York Times, and Lucius and Marcus Isaacson, the brilliant yet comedic Jewish twin brothers hired as NYPD detectives by Teddy Roosevelt when he was chief of the force. When the kidnapper's identity is discovered relatively early, the tale changes from a whodunit into that more modern complicated breed of thriller that explores the "why" of the crime!

As the story is told completely through Stevie's eyes, the reader is treated to a wonderfully smooth, linear narration that is both complete and straightforward to follow from the plotting point of view.
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Format: Hardcover
A Mesmerizing Tome, ANGEL OF DARKNESS is a sequel to Carr's "The Alienist". This reader, as am sure there are others, appreciate continuity in writings that carry forward some of the same characters, even though the narrator is a different person -- the street youth whom Dr. Kriezler "adopted", and rescued from a life of crime -- Stevie Taggart. After all, proteges are developed by other narrators, and in other fields as well - this slant in THE ANGEL OF DARKNESS is no exception. I have an appreciation for authors who bring in true-to-history participants -- e.g., Clarence Darrow; Theodore Roosevelt; & Mrs. Cady Stanton. -- after all, didn't they play a part in history?
Author Carr is a master storyteller, with hard-to-put-down books, very engaging trade dialogue with a style of 'teller to listener'. Added are the glimpses with a clear visual field from a window on life during the early 20th century New York City time period.
ANGEL OF DARKNESS is a riveting tale of a tormented murderess, facing crime & punishment for actions applicable to latter 19th century. Albeit an evil, cunning female would be difficult to believe in that era of history, with the "feminine" roles women were assigned then - more so than today.
Libby Hatch compares in stature with villain John Beecham. Added spice is a first-rate mind that is always calculating the next move; Mr. Carr enfolds readers with examples of dark society, with excellent, poignant, & some humorous dramatization.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mr. Carr's first book, THE ALIENIST, gripped me as it did most other readers. This sequel came close to doing the same but there were some jarring moments that took the pleasure out of it. For instance, I loved the choice of Stevie Taggert as the narrator for this installment because he was an interesting character in THE ALIENIST. The problem was that this semi-literate young man's writing style was just as professional as the narrator of the first book, the journalist John Moore. (For example, "The sunlight came in softly through big rectangular windows, reflected off ceilings and moldings what were also bright white, and also off the polished red marble floor. The wood paneling on the walls, by way of contrast, was dark and together with the arched doorways gave the place a kind of stately feel." Not exactly Henry James, but pretty accomplished given his background.) Also there are so many unnecessary cameo appearances by historical figures--Mrs. Cady Stanton, Clarence Darrow, Cornelius Vanderbilt II, Teddy Roosevelt (AGAIN!), Charles Delmonico, Albert Pinkham Ryder--the willing suspension of disbelief begins to strain. I guess Thomas Edison, Stanford White and Oscar Hammerstein were too busy to appear. Okay, enough with the negatives; I still recommend this novel. There is far too good a story here to be damaged by my previous criticisms. Libby Hatch is every inch a frightening villain as John Beecham had been in THE ALIENIST. Plenty of great twists and turns, and the scenes with the Hudson Dusters gang are first rate. If you get by some of what I've mentioned, you're in for a wonderfully suspenseful story!
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