In rural, impoverished Burgoyne County, New York, a pattern of strange deaths begins to emerge. Once famed advisors to the New York City Police Department, Dr. Trajan Jones, a psychological profiler, and Dr. Michael Li, a trace evidence expert, are called in to help solve the crimes.
...an addictive contemporary crime procedural stuffed with observations on the manipulations of science and the particular societal ills of the moment ... Carr writes with a style full of depth and description. He never uses one sentence when there is room for two. The book weighs in at a dense 600 pages, which requires more dedication than is usual for a crime novel. But Carr’s work has never been for the book-a-day reader ... This is a novel you set time aside for. It is charming and eloquent between the horrors it captures.
Mr. Carr conjures with admirable ease and verve all manner of vivid characters: the beautiful young blind woman who captures Dr. Jones’s heart; her obscenity-spewing young brother, whom Jones and Li use as their Baker Street Irregular; and dozens of allies, enemies, villains, relatives and victims. Skills and thrills are more abundant than plausibility. For maximum enjoyment: surrender, reader.
I loved The Alienist, so it pains me to write that Carr’s Surrender, New York, despite tackling these same general themes in a contemporary setting, has little suspense and few thrills. I blame Carr’s narrator. Dr. Trajan Jones, a profiler walking in the alienist’s intellectual footsteps, is unlikable (not in any good way). His dialogue is pedantic and his point of view is thick with righteous indignation.