Caleb Carr, bestselling author of The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness, has created a contemporary psychological thriller haunted by the shadowy hands of established power.
In rural, impoverished Burgoyne County, New York, a pattern of strange deaths begins to emerge: adolescent boys and girls are found murdered, their corpses left hanging in gruesome, ritualistic fashion. Senior law enforcement officials are quick to blame a serial killer, but their efforts to apprehend this criminal are peculiarly ineffective.
Meanwhile, in the county's small town of Surrender, Trajan Jones, a psychological profiler (and the world's leading expert on the life and work of one Dr. Laszlo Kreizler), and Michael Li, a trace evidence expert, once famed advisors to the New York City Police Department, teach online courses in profiling and forensic science from Jones' family farm. Alone and armed mainly with their wits, protected only by farmhands and Jones' unusual ''pet,'' the outcast pair are secretly called in to consult on the case.
Jones and Li immediately discern that the various victims were all ''throwaway children,'' a new state classification given to young people who are neither orphans, runaways, nor homeless, but victims of a terrible phenomenon sweeping America's poor: abandoned by their families, the throwaways are left to fend for themselves. One of these throwaways, Lucas Kurtz, along with his blind older sister, cross paths with Jones and Li, offering information that could blow the case wide open.
Racing against the case's mounting stakes, Jones and Li find that they are battling not only to unravel the mystery of how the throwaways died but also to defend themselves and the Kurtz siblings from the threats of shadowy but powerful agents who want to stop them from uncovering the truth. It is a truth that, Jones believes, leads away from their world and back to the increasingly wealthy city where both he and his long-dead intellectual guide, Dr Kreizler, did their greatest work. But will they be able to trace the case to New York before they fall victim to the murderous forces that stalk them?
Caleb's books are NOT quick reads, know that up front. This one is 600 pages in fact! But you know when you pick up on of his books that it will be well worth the read, as thanks to his background, there will be plenty of history and mystery equally mixed into the tale at hand, and with his amazing character development, it's a book you will not want to put down.
This book doesn't disappoint- like his previous books, the depth of his research doesn't really become apparent til you are over halfway through and you realize JUST how much thought has been put into the background and setting for the story! Add in some pretty amazing characters and plenty of red herrings and there are plenty of surprises in the book as well! In light of recent events, some of the scenes may be a bit rough, but they fit into the realities of the story and how Trajan and Li learn they can't be sure of who to trust and how deep the reach of the ;powers that be' are. How they work around to solve the crimes is a story in itself. Carr does a great job in bringing to light the subject of 'throwaway kids',and how they get abandoned so easily, while giving an amazing story that will stay with you for some time after finishing it! So not miss this one!
About the Author:
Caleb Carr is an American novelist and military historian. He has worked at the Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Affairs Quarterly, MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, and taught military history, including World Military History, the History of American Intelligence, and Insurgency/Counterinsurgency, at Bard College. He is the author of ten books, several of which, most notably the historical thriller The Alienist, have become international best-sellers and prize-winners, and his work has been translated into over two dozen languages.
He was born in Manhattan, and for the majority of his life he lived on the Lower East Side of that city, spending his summers and many weekends at his family's home in Cherry Plain, New York. In 2000, he purchased his own property, known as Misery Mountain, in Cherry Plain; and in 2006 he moved there permanently. He now lives with his Siberian cat, Masha. She is, he says, "very beautiful and very ferocious."