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No. of Recommendations: 2
Just finished this one. It's a murder mystery set in 1895 in New York City. Good book - very vivid descriptions of the city. It's not a drawing-room mystery. It's more like a Tom Clancy novel than an Agatha Christie. The quarry is a serial killer who begins to prey on underage cross-dressing male prostitutes and leaves their bodies all over town. The investigators are a varied lot including Theodore Roosevelt (police commissioner of New York City at the time); a female aspiring policeman; the narrator, a reporter; and the psychologist or 'alienist' of the title. Their unique approach to the crime is to use the new field of psychology to construct a portrait of the killer, in effect 'profiling' him. Excellent writing, well-paced, great characters. I was impressed by the way the author handled the first person narration. Recommend.

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