Tropedia

  • Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.

READ MORE

Tropedia
Advertisement
Tropedia
157,236
pages
Farm-Fresh balance.pngYMMVTransmit blue.pngRadarWikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotes • (Emoticon happy.pngFunnyHeart.pngHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3.pngAwesome) • Refridgerator.pngFridgeGroup.pngCharactersScript edit.pngFanfic RecsSkull0.pngNightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out icon.pngShout OutMagnifier.pngPlotGota icono.pngTear JerkerBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersHelp.pngTriviaWMGFilmRoll-small.pngRecapRainbow.pngHo YayPhoto link.pngImage LinksNyan-Cat-Original.pngMemesHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconicLibrary science symbol .svg SourceSetting

'The Alienist, written by Caleb Carr, is a 1994 novel which features the story of the search for a serial killer in New York City in 1896. The killer is targeting a very specific, marginalized segment of the population. An investigative team is brought together to find the killer. The members of team include: a 19th-century psychologist and by extension his household employees, a journalist who is also the narrator, two detectives from the NYPD and the first woman to be employed by the NYPD. The novel follows their investigation into the mind of a killer.

A second book by Carr, The Angel of Darkness (1997), follows the team as they search for another serial killer.


This novel provides examples of:

  • Big Applesauce: Most of the novel takes place in New York City.
  • Call Forward: At the end of the affair, Teddy Roosevelt considers getting involved in national politics? Why, how preposterous!
  • Character Focus: The members of the investigative team split off either individually or in pairs to gather the information they need to find the killer.
  • Darkest Hour: Dr. Kreitzler leaves the team after the shooting at his home. This almost derails the investigation.
  • Did Not Do the Research: The characters travel to Sing Sing to meet and speak with Jesse Harding Pomeroy, a real-life serial killer...who spent his entire 40+-year term in prison in Massachusetts.
  • Everybody Smokes / Smoking Is Cool: A given, during the time the story was set. Even eleven-year-old Stevie lights up every other page.
  • Everyone Meets Everyone: At Delmonico's, no less.
  • Harmful to Minors: Very harmful to some minors.
  • The Heart: Mary Palmer. Oh oh oh, Mary Palmer.
  • Historical Domain Characters: Theodore Roosevelt and J.P. Morgan, for starters.
  • Heroic BSOD: Kreizler suffers this after Mary dies.
  • Ignored Expert: Dr. Laslow Kreitzler.
  • Injun Country: This is a significant idea that runs throughout the entire story.
  • Innocence Lost: For so many people in so many ways.
  • Locked Room Mystery: One of the "girls" disappears out of a third-story room with no fire escape.
  • Mr. Exposition: John Schuyler Moore
  • Pater Familicide: Some patients that Kreitzler sees early in the investigation fit this profile.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: A 19th-century psychologist, a drunk, the first woman to work for the NYPD, an 11-year-old ex-con, a gentle giant ex-con, two Jewish brothers who are cutting-edge detectives, and sometimes Theodore Roosevelt. Yup, ragtag.
  • Rape as Backstory: Mary chained her father to his bed and burned him alive, because he'd been sexually molesting her since she was a very small child. Since she suffered from a disorder that kept her from being able to speak in coherent sentences, she couldn't tell anyone about it.
  • Scary Black Man: Cyrus. Subverted in that he's really a gentle man by nature, even if he's a convicted murderer. (He killed a man in a jazz club who was beating a prostitute.)
  • Serial Killer
  • Street Urchin: Stevie "The Stevepipe" Taggart.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Mary
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour: Lots and lots.
  • Turn in Your Badge: The Isaacsons take a "special assignment" leave of absence from the NYPD to work with the team.
Advertisement