In exciting news for Caleb Carr readers, more advance praise for Mr. Carr’s upcoming thriller Surrender, New York has appeared in The New York Times Book Review this week. In a cover review by multi-award winning crime novelist Michael Connelly, Surrender, New York is described as “an addictive contemporary crime procedural … [a] mystery with multiple messages.” Connelly notes that, “The crime novel, in its most serious form, has always been used to reflect trends and lament losses and clang the bell of warning to the ills of society.” For long-time readers of Mr. Carr’s work, this description used in reference to a Carr novel should come as no surprise; lurking under the surface of his previous bestselling historical thrillers, The Alienist and its sequel The Angel of Darkness, were superbly constructed social commentaries that were not just about society of 120 years ago, but our society, too.
And what of the trends, losses, and warning bells in Mr. Carr’s latest offering? Connelly explains that in Surrender, New York we are introduced to an experienced criminal investigator Trajan Jones, “a man of science … who also possesses a jaundiced eye when it comes to the science of crime detection.” While The Alienist “celebrated the dawning era in the application of science to crime detection … Carr now uses Jones to sound the warning that things may be going awry. Forensics should not be treated as faith.” However, Connelly also makes it clear in his review that the warning bells sounded in Surrender, New York are not limited to modern forensics. Namely, that while “so many are left in the shadows even in a prosperous nation,” Surrender, New York also shows us that there are “those of power and wealth who are willing to kill to keep some uncomfortable truths from being revealed.”
Even though Surrender, New York may ask us to stare “ugly realities full in the face” just as Dr. Kreizler asked of us in The Alienist, Connelly reassures us that Mr. Carr’s latest offering still retains the same big-heartedness that made its predecessors so well-loved. As he writes at the conclusion of his review, “It is hard to resist a character with such eloquent charm and a story with such deep meaning, no matter what its time and place.”