Included below is a synopsis of Caleb Carr’s seventh novel, Surrender, New York, which was published by Random House in 2016. Selected critical reception has also been included. For summaries and selected critical reception of Caleb Carr’s other fiction and non-fiction works, please use the side menu.
Surrender, New York Summary
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Imaginative and fulfilling … an addictive contemporary crime procedural.”–Michael Connelly, The New York Times Book Review
Caleb Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness, returns with a contemporary, edge-of-your-seat thriller featuring Dr. Trajan Jones, a criminal psychologist—and the world’s leading expert on the life and work of one Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, the hero of The Alienist, in whose brilliant but unconventional footsteps he follows.
In the small town of Surrender in upstate New York, Trajan Jones, a psychological profiler, and Dr. Michael Li, a trace evidence expert, teach online courses in profiling and forensic science from Jones’s family farm. Once famed advisors to the New York City Police Department, Trajan and Li now work in exile, having made enemies of those in power. Protected only by farmhands and Jones’s unusual “pet,” the outcast pair is unexpectedly called in to consult on a disturbing case.
In rural Burgoyne County, a pattern of strange deaths has emerged: adolescent boys and girls are found murdered in gruesome fashion. Senior law enforcement officials are quick to blame a serial killer, yet their efforts to apprehend this criminal are peculiarly ineffective.
Jones and Li soon discover that the victims are all “throwaway children,” a new state classification of young people who are neither orphans, runaways, nor homeless, but who are abandoned by their families and left to fend for themselves. Two of these throwaways, Lucas Kurtz and his older sister, cross paths with Jones and Li, offering information that could blow the case wide open.
As the stakes grow higher, Jones and Li must not only unravel the mystery of how the throwaways died, but also defend themselves and the Kurtz siblings against shadowy agents who don’t want them to uncover the truth. Jones believes the real story leads back to the city where both he and Dr. Kreizler did their greatest work. But will they be able to trace the case to New York before they fall victim to the murderous forces that stalk them?
Tautly paced and richly researched, Surrender, New York brings to life the grim underbelly of a prosperous nation—and those most vulnerable to its failings. This brilliant novel marks another milestone in Caleb Carr’s triumphant literary suspense career.
Surrender, New York Critical Reception
Michael Connelly, The New York Times Book Review (cover review):
The crime novel, in its most serious form, has always been used to reflect trends and lament loss and clang the bell of warning to the ills of society … In Surrender, New York, [Caleb Carr] has written an addictive contemporary crime procedural … The story is imaginative and fulfilling, along the way revealing how so many are left in the shadows even in a prosperous nation … It is hard to resist a character with such eloquent charm and a story with such deep meaning.
The Wall Street Journal:
[A] page-turning thriller … For maximum enjoyment: surrender, reader.
Every word of fiction Carr has produced seems to have been written in either direct or indirect conversation with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, even those that take place in contemporary times, like this one … [Surrender, New York] allows Carr to deploy his indisputable gift for the gothic and the macabre, and the pursuit is suspenseful and believable.
Booklist (starred review):
Carr once again delivers a high-stakes thriller featuring a new band of clever, determined outcasts … With gut-punching twists and the potential for a sequel, this intelligent, timely thriller will be savored by Carr’s fans and new readers alike.
[A] whodunit that weds leisurely nineteenth-century storytelling with twenty-first-century unpleasantness … Carr’s story poses an utterly modern question: for a career-minded politico, which is worse, a child-neglect scandal or a serial killer on the loose? We get to see both at work, including some nicely nasty mayhem … Carr’s many fans will find this well worth the wait.