No. 145 – The Alienist

Prog 2042’s (2017) The Alienist (written by Gordon Rennie and Emma Beeby) cover by Tiernen Trevallion v historical thriller The Alienist (Random House, 1994) by author Caleb Carr

Alternative book cover artwork by Sebastian Giacobino

The first installment in the Kreizler series, named after the series’ main character, psychologist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, who is assisted in his adventures by reporter John Schuyler Moore, policewoman Sara Howard and Stevie “Stevepipe” Taggart.

The Alienist was followed by The Angel of Darkness (Random House, 1997) and Surrender, New York (Random House, 2016). The stories have been turned into a TNT television drama airing in 2018.

“Alienist” is an archaic term for a psychiatrist or psychologist, still employed in psychiatric hospitals to describe those mental health professionals who evaluate defendants’ competency to stand trial, but largely replaced by the term “forensic psychologist” in modern times.

Look at it this way: one’s set in New York in 1896 and one’s set in England in 1908 – coincidence? We’re just puttin’ it out there. Lettin’ it hang.

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