The Angel of Darkness Paperback – Large Print, Sep 1997
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|Paperback, Large Print, Sep 1997||
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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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
A much better book than the first (The Alienist), this sequel is well worth checking out! Narrated by Stevie Taggart, Dr. Read morePublished on April 30 2004 by J. Okamoto
I truly enjoyed The Angel of Darkness. I found the novel to be very interesting and suspenseful. So suspenseful in fact that at times I didn't want to put the book down. Read morePublished on Oct. 23 2003 by Matt McCallum
I really enjoyed The Alienist, the first book by Caleb Carr about Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and his "colleagues". Read morePublished on Aug. 18 2003 by E. L. Weinhold
I bought this at a yard sale for $0.50. I wanted something to read while waiting in line at DMV Monday. It was so engrossing, I missed my number being called! Read morePublished on July 5 2003 by manydryriversAZ
SPOILER: Admittedly, I did not care from "The Alienist" either, so put off "Angel" for several years, until I ran out of everything else. Read morePublished on July 4 2003 by Wild Wise Woman
A fan of Caleb Carr's after 'The Alienist', I was unable to put this one down as well. Carr's unique method of entwining the characters' unique traits into the turn-of-the-century... Read morePublished on Feb. 25 2003
Carr once again does a great job at transporting the reader to a very believable depiction of New York around the turn of the century. Read morePublished on Feb. 25 2003 by John Howard
After loving 'The Alienist,' I was very disappointed in 'The Angel of Darkness.' It was completely implausible, especially the 'Angel' being on good terms with a street gang. Read morePublished on Feb. 23 2003 by Girl Writer
"The Angel of Darkness" is an excellent follow-up to "The Alienist," also a great book. Read morePublished on Jan. 7 2003