The Alienist

On recommendation of one of my graphic-novel-sharing friends, I picked up a turn of the 20th Century mystery book, The Alienist. (And, seriously, it was recommended several times, and has been mentioned several times more while I’ve owned it unread. Which is not a complaint about my pushy, pushy friend, it’s a wry nod to my massively overflowing bookshelf.) But the point is, I got to it, only to find (unsurprisingly) that everything I heard was true! It is in fact a pretty darn good fiction about the genesis of modern police procedure set against the trashy, immigrant-filled slums of New York City’s 1896. It occasionally bordered on feeling too modern, but never quite got there, all while managing to have a shockingly strong female protagonist in the cast, an occasionally Holmesian feel, and special guest appearances by Theodore Roosevelt and Charles Ranhofer. Oh, and “the first” serial killer. That may not actually be something for everyone, but it’s something for just about everyone I want to know.