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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Imaginative and fulfilling . . . an addictive contemporary crime procedural.”—Michael Connelly, The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)

Caleb Carr, the author of The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness, returns with a contemporary, edge-of-your-seat thriller featuring the brilliant but unconventional criminal psychologist Dr. Trajan Jones.

In the small town of Surrender in upstate New York, Dr. 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, Ambyr, 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 the truth to get out. Jones believes the real story leads back to the city where both he and Dr. Kreizler did their greatest work. But will Jones and Li 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.

Praise for Surrender, New York

“[A] page-turning thriller . . . For maximum enjoyment: surrender, reader.” The Wall Street Journal

“Every word of fiction Carr has produced seems to have been written in either direct or indirect conversation with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. . . .  [ Surrender, New York] allows Carr to deploy his indisputable gift for the gothic and the macabre, and the pursuit is suspenseful and believable.” USA Today

“[A] long-awaited return.” O: The Oprah Magazine

“[A] superb mystery . . . [that moves] at a swift and often terrifying pace. As in The Alienist, Carr triumphs at every twist and turn.” Providence Journal

“Edgar Allan Poe would have understood this book and hailed it a masterpiece. . . . A terrific story with a great setting and a very modern social message.” The Globe and Mail

“[An] engrossing mystery.” Library Journal

“A compulsive read . . . Carr once again delivers a high-stakes thriller featuring a new band of clever, determined outcasts.” Booklist (starred review)

“Carr’s many fans will find this well worth the wait.” Kirkus Reviews

Review

“[A] page-turning thriller . . . For maximum enjoyment: surrender, reader.” The Wall Street Journal
 
“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.” USA Today

“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.” —Michael Connelly, The New York Times Book Review (cover review)

“[A] long-awaited return.” O: The Oprah Magazine

“[A] superb mystery . . . [that moves] at a swift and often terrifying pace. As in The Alienist, Carr triumphs at every twist and turn.” Providence Journal
 
“Chilling and suspenseful . . . a tale fit for the modern-day Conan Doyle.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Edgar Allan Poe would have understood this book and hailed it a masterpiece. . . . A terrific story with a great setting and a very modern social message.” The Globe and Mail

“[An] engrossing mystery.” Library Journal

“A compulsive read . . . 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.” Booklist (starred review)
 
“[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.” Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Caleb Carr is the critically acclaimed author of The Alienist, The Angel of Darkness, The Lessons of Terror, Killing Time, The Devil Soldier, The Italian Secretary, and The Legend of Broken. He has taught military history at Bard College, and worked extensively in film, television, and the theater. His military and political writings have appeared in numerous magazines and periodicals, among them The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He lives in upstate New York.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Part One

The Curse of Knowledge

Once we know something, we find it hard to imagine what it was like not to know it. Our knowledge has “cursed” us. . . . ​Reversing the process is as difficult as un-ringing a bell. You can’t unlearn what you already know. There are, in fact, only two ways to beat the Curse of Knowledge reliably. The first is not to learn anything. The second is to take your ideas and transform them. —Chip Heath and Dan Heath, Made to Stick

For in much wisdom is much grief; and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. —Ecclesiastes 1:18

Chapter One

“You Cannot Escape It, in This Country”

{i.}

The case did not so much burst upon as creep over Burgoyne County, New York, just as the sickness that underlay it only took root in the region slowly, insidiously, and long before the first body was found. My own initial indication that at least one crime of an unusual and quite probably violent nature had been committed came in the form of a visit from Deputy Sheriff Pete Steinbrecher, in early July of that summer. I was then living, as I had been for about five years, at Shiloh, a dairy farm belonging to my spinster great-aunt, Miss Clarissa Jones. Shiloh is centered on a large Italianate farmhouse that is the sole residence in Death’s Head Hollow, one of a half-dozen valleys that lead down from the high ground of the northern Taconic Mountains into the small town of Surrender.

Despite my having spent some seven or eight years working as a criminal psychologist (primarily with the New York City Police Department) prior to relocating to the pastoral severity of the Taconics, I had only occasionally interacted with what passes for local law enforcement during my time up north. Due to severe budget cuts at every level of government, there was and remains precious little law in Burgoyne County: communities like Surrender long ago lost their town constabularies, as well as their county sheriff’s substations, and what little regular patrolling the latter department can still do is focused primarily on the county seat of Fraser. The residents of the many small communities in the region have thus been left to see to their own safety, which they are happy to do: for Burgoyne County is gun country, and only in cases involving extreme disturbances are either the sheriff’s office in Fraser or the New York State Police contacted.

For these and other reasons, my main criminological efforts since relocating to my great-aunt’s farm (where I’d spent nearly every weekend and summer vacation as a boy) had been less applied than academic: I’d been establishing an online course of study in various controversial aspects of forensic science under the aegis of the State University of New York at Albany. That institution’s first-rate School of Criminal Justice had long offered a range of classes in forensics, both at the undergraduate and the graduate levels; but its senior faculty and officials, wisely taking into account the scandals that have rocked both federal and regional crime laboratories as well as the field of forensic science generally during the last twenty years, had decided, just before my own relocation to their area, to offer complementary courses that would explore the well-documented weaknesses of forensics. Mine had been one of the most outspoken voices attempting to expose those weaknesses; and because my work (and the methods that underlay them) had led to a series of widely publicized conflicts with the NYPD’s crime lab that had ultimately made me persona non grata in the metropolis where I was born, I was not altogether surprised, but was entirely grateful, when SUNY-Albany offered me the chance to help structure their balancing course of study.

Partnering with my closest co-worker in New York, Mike Li—an expert in trace and DNA evidence who had spent years vociferously pointing out the widespread and often fatal flaws that marred the gathering, handling, and courtroom use of such evidence—I gladly accepted the university’s offer, provided Mike’s and my own courses could be taught online. (The lingering effects of a childhood bout with osteosarcoma on my left femur and pelvis had recently made extended travel, even the fifty miles or so to Albany and back, increasingly difficult for me.) The administrators of the School of Criminal Justice, already anxious to expand their presence in the burgeoning world of online teaching, had readily agreed to this condition; and soon Mike and I had established a virtual lecture hall inside a rickety old airplane hangar that sat on a hill behind two large green barns built in the mid-nineteenth century that were the centerpieces of the farm that my great-aunt oversaw with an iron will.

To be more precise, Mike and I had built our Skype-operated classroom inside the fuselage of a pre–World War II Junkers JU-52/3m, a classic German civilian aircraft, the care and maintenance of which had been the passion of my great-aunt’s father. After piloting it from Germany to Senegal in 1935 via a circuitous European and North African route, the old lunatic had shipped the plane to Brazil and flown it north: an adventure that was apparently as colorful—and expensive—as it sounds. But the tri-engine beast was now immobile, the ghostly occupant of nearly every inch of the large hangar; and inside it Mike and I worked to disabuse our students, first, of the widely accepted idea that forensics (not only trace and DNA collection, but such far older practices as fingerprinting and ballistics, as well) were the “gold standard” of evidentiary analysis and courtroom argument and, second, of the equally popular and pernicious notion that forensics had made criminal psychology, and especially profiling, somehow obsolete.

On the afternoon in question, I had just given a long and fairly impassioned summer term lecture explaining precisely how damaging this last set of beliefs had become, asking that my students—representatives of the coming generation of criminal investigators—restore both psychology and profiling to the positions of respect that they had largely lost when the purportedly more precise areas of forensics had begun to monopolize criminal investigation in the early 1990s. Stepping away from the half-dozen large video monitors that dominated the interior of the JU-52 when I was finally finished, I then descended slowly into the hangar via a set of steel steps that my great-grandfather had built up and over the starboard wing of the plane to the forward hatch, and went outside to lean on my cane and smoke a cigarette. From there, I caught sight of Pete Steinbrecher’s patrol car moving quickly up the hollow, lights flashing but siren mute: Pete was well enough acquainted with both Shiloh and my diminutive yet fiery great-aunt to know that the sound of the siren would bring Clarissa swiftly from the farmhouse, to which she would not return until she had delivered a stern lecture to the deputy on the effects of such sounds on dairy cattle. For this and other reasons, Pete did not brave the hollow on minor errands—indeed, his presence almost certainly indicated just one thing:

“Mike,” I called, stepping back toward the great maw that was the open hangar door, “Pete Steinbrecher’s on his way up.” I could hear Mike cut short his preparations for a seminar as I added flatly, “Looks like someone’s been murdered . . .”

In the time it took Pete to park his patrol car beside one of the milking barns below the hangar, Mike shot out of the plane and down the steel steps, his mood characteristically brightened. “Excellent!” he called as he joined me, his eyes—narrowed by years of examining often microscopic pieces of evidence—widening with enthusiasm. “Should I cancel my next class?” He looked up at me eagerly (Mike stands about five foot six, even when excited, while I, despite my usual stooped posture, am a good half-foot taller), and grinned almost fiendishly as he accepted a cigarette from the pack I held out to him.

“Not yet,” I said, pulling a pocket watch from my vest and popping it open. “You’ve got a good twenty minutes—let’s hear him out, first.”

“Ah,” Mike noised in disappointment. “How did I know you were going to say that, gweilo?” (When irritated with me, it was Mike’s custom to use the Cantonese phrase for “white devil.”)

“Easy, there, Yellow Peril,” I answered, replacing my watch, producing a Zippo lighter, and offering its flame to my partner.

“Damn it, L.T.,” Mike replied. “I’ve told you, ‘Yellow Peril’ refers to the Japs—and the Chinese have a lot more fucking reasons to hate them than you do. So dibs.”

I turned to him, amused. “ ‘Dibs’?”

“On hating the Japanese,” Mike said, with a wave of his cigarette.

“Ah,” I replied with a nod; but I could not help another chuckle. “ ‘Dibs,’ ” I murmured. “You often have a whimsical way of putting things, Michael . . .”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah—come on, Trajan, I’m half-crazed for a real case.”

“You’re always half-crazed. And we don’t know that this is a real case: he may just want advice.”

“Sure,” Mike said dubiously, as we smoked and watched the deputy walk up a dirt pathway toward us. “Pete’s risking a nasty run-in with your aunt for advice.”

“Just give the man a chance to talk,” I said.

Pete held up a hand in greeting as he neared us, then removed his grey Stetson when he arrived to shake each of our hands. “Doc,” he said to me. “Mike. I, uh—I’m wondering if you’re in the mood to help the county out.” Pete was a big man, with solid German features typical of the many waves of immigrants from that country who had come to upstate New York during the nineteenth century. In addition, he possessed the kind of even, sonorous voice that I admired in honest, hardworking first responders, which in his case was lightly tinged with the not-quite-definable but appealing accent of the area, a sound that was very unlike the affected redneck twang that younger locals had adopted: ironically, only after farming had ceased to be their chief occupation.

“Cigarette, Pete?” I said, holding out the pack. I noted, as did he, that my hand was trembling, slightly but uncontrollably, in anticipation of his news.

“You know damn well my wife made me quit, Dr. Jones,” Pete answered, drawing out a handkerchief and wiping his brow. “I come home smelling like smoke and she’ll crease my skull with a socket wrench.”

I did indeed know this; but it was the nature of our relationship, just as it was of my interactions with Mike, to push each other’s buttons with abandon. Returning the pack to my jacket pocket, I loosened my tie and asked, “So—who’s dead?”

“Jesus . . .” Pete’s smile suddenly disappeared and his visage darkened—but it was what he’d said that was the more important indication that something very unusual was up. Burgoyne County may be gun country, but it is not, for the most part, church country; and those few who, like Pete, fight to keep its sprinkling of multi-denominational Christian churches alive take their work and its details seriously—yet the matter at hand, and my light reference to it, had permitted him to utter what he considered a genuine blasphemy. “You don’t half tread lightly, do you, Doc?” he went on, mournfully. Putting his hat back on his head, which was now free of the sweat drawn out by the July heat, Pete next assumed an uncharacteristically official air. “Truth be told, I’d rather you see it for yourself.”

I eyed this one of my few good friends in county law enforcement closely. “Pete? What is it?”

“You want to come inside, have a beer, Pete?” Mike asked, also studying the deputy’s face and seeing the unusual amount of concern—even bewilderment—on it. Pete had of course handled deaths before, and even murders; but at just that moment the man was clearly rattled.

He shook his head to Mike, smiling briefly in gratitude. “I gotta get back. Hopefully with the Doc, here. You’re welcome to come along, too, Mike. We could use you.”

Mike turned to me and tried to suppress a smile of deep satisfaction. “Well—an official invitation. So it’s none of your fucking business, anymore, L.T.” Quickly stamping out his cigarette, Mike told Pete, “Just give me five minutes to tell my class. Maybe give them some extra homework. Can you spare it?”

“Sure,” Pete answered, visibly relieved. “If it’s really just five minutes, no problem.”

“I could use a few minutes, too,” I said, turning toward a pasture that stretched away on a hill behind and above the hangar. About ten acres in size, the enclosure occupied ground that led to a small foothill at the base of a steep, heavily wooded mountain. It was surrounded by an especially strong and, at ten feet, exceptionally tall, high-tensile box wire fence, reinforced by tight chicken wire. “I’ve got to take care of something . . .”

“You going to feed your ‘dog’?” Pete asked, finally easing up and smiling freely.

“I am. You want to tag along?”

“Doc—no disrespect, but, uh, you know that thing—”

“That ‘rare African hunting dog’?” I quickly interjected.

“Yeah, yeah, I’ll keep playing along with the story, don’t worry. But you know the thing makes me nervous.”

“The more time you spend around her, the less reason you’ll have to be nervous. Besides, she likes you. A little.”

“Yeah, well—a little ain’t enough, thanks all the same. I’ll just wait here.” As I walked toward a nearby gate in the fencing that was covered on each side with several additional layers of wire, I heard Pete shout, “What’s the damned thing’s name again?”

“Marcianna!” I called back to him. “The favorite sister of the Roman emperor Trajan.”

“And he wonders,” I heard Pete tell Mike, “why I can’t remember it . . .”

When I reached the enclosure gate and issued a very particular call—almost a chirp, in its way, and a sound that usually brought my favorite sister running—I discovered that Marcianna was nowhere to be seen. From long experience I knew that she had likely caught some large bird—a raven or crow, in all probability, or perhaps even a hawk that had spotted some small rodent within her enclosure—and was enjoying the kill inside the large stone den that I had designed for her, using flat and oblong boulders brought down from high on the mountain by several of the farmhands with a tractor and sledge. The hands had not known, at the time, what they were building, or what it might be intended to house; and when they subsequently found out, they played along with my request that they not reveal the secret of what lived inside the enclosure, just as Pete and a few others would later do. As time went by, it became something of a speculative legend, in Surrender, and I think everyone in the know got a kick out of not revealing the answer.

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Top reviews from the United States

pinkchiffondream
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Regretfully disappointed
Reviewed in the United States on January 2, 2017
I loved The Alienist and it''s follow-up and thus was a fan of Caleb Carr, his writing and ideas. The archaic speaking style of those books didn''t slow me down one bit as I raced through their pages. Those books were so richly described that I could see the rooms, taste... See more
I loved The Alienist and it''s follow-up and thus was a fan of Caleb Carr, his writing and ideas. The archaic speaking style of those books didn''t slow me down one bit as I raced through their pages. Those books were so richly described that I could see the rooms, taste the food. The characters were fully-formed and when they spoke, they were wholly themselves. However, if you take a voice from that era and put it in the mouth of a character that is contemporary, the result sounds stilted, fake. We''ve all run into people who think an extensive vocabulary will cover the fact that they''re not really very informed or bright; that is how these characters sound to me. Not themselves but trying very, very hard to be someone else. Leaves a person very anxious to just get away from them. I felt the same about this protagonist. The cheetah, My God, the cheetah. Endless descriptions of it''s semi-hidden enclosure, referred to as an exotic African hunting dog, all this wordy, tedious build-up to find out that it''s a cheetah. This book is set in present-day for heavens sakes. As if in this day and time, with the world and, may I add, endless photos, available with the click of a keyboard, anyone who saw it wouldn''t immediately say "Look, a cheetah". Granted, odd to see it kept as a pet in upstate New York, but still, by the time the "reveal" happened I was sooo disappointed. After all that "mystery" I was expecting that he was harboring the "missing link" at least. Sad to say this Caleb Carr installment didn''t transport me, just disappointed me.
50 people found this helpful
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Elizabeth Horton-Newton, Author
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Action & Romance in a Psychological Mystery
Reviewed in the United States on June 4, 2018
I loved Caleb Carr’s first two books and thought I would give Surrender, New York a try. The fact that I am from New York, and New Yorker’s don’t surrender also had something to do with my choice. I’d read the negative reviews, and I thought, how bad could it be? I don’t... See more
I loved Caleb Carr’s first two books and thought I would give Surrender, New York a try. The fact that I am from New York, and New Yorker’s don’t surrender also had something to do with my choice. I’d read the negative reviews, and I thought, how bad could it be? I don’t know what the other reviewers were reading, because I liked this book a lot. Though not as compelling as the first two, the characters are as fascinating, the plot intriguing, and the author’s understanding of New York is spot on.
Dr. Trajan Jones is a follower of Dr. Laszlo Kreizler. Appreciating the late doctor’s work, Jones applies Kreizler’s practices to his own investigation. Jones himself is something of an enigma. A city boy, now living on a country farm, he and his partner, Dr. Michael Li, are unexpectedly called unofficially into an investigation. The psychological profiler and the trace evidence expert had some trouble in the big city, and as a result are persona non grata amongst most law officials. But there are those in Burgoyne County who respect the two investigators. Between teaching online classes in profiling and forensic science, the two become embroiled in the mysterious deaths of “throw-away children.”
What ensues is a combination of insightful investigation, life and death action, and even romance. Trajan is acutely conscious of the way childhood trauma affects the psychological development of teens. Young people are found murdered in horrifying circumstances. Clues are examined using the techniques developed by Kreizler. Connecting with three of the “throw aways” who live in the area, Apryl, Lucas, Kurtz and their friend Derek, the group provides a formidable team.
Shady politics, an election year, underhanded police, and a bevy of bad guys, fill out the cast of characters. There is also a mysterious pet, but I leave that for the reader to discover.
I began to get an inkling of what was happening about halfway through the book, although there were some unexpected shockers. Carr describes the settings of upstate New York with so much flavor I could smell the air.
If you like mystery, suspense, heart-pounding action and the unhealthy political and law enforcement atmosphere in current times, you will undoubtedly enjoy this book. Don’t look for a rehash of Carr’s earlier books. This is a book to be read for its own value.
16 people found this helpful
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Thomas Donahoe
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
If you saw things going wrongly in Angel of Darkness, then do not waste your time on this book.
Reviewed in the United States on July 29, 2019
There are just so many things I find frustrating with this book. Other reviews mentioning the stilted language and the ''too smart for his own good'' protagonist are correct, but the worst parts of this book by far are the dialogue of female and minority... See more
There are just so many things I find frustrating with this book.

Other reviews mentioning the stilted language and the ''too smart for his own good'' protagonist are correct, but the worst parts of this book by far are the dialogue of female and minority characters.

It is so frustrating to read a well written scene involving the shooting of an unarmed black teenager, but then to spend the rest of the book having all of the minority characters make racism jokes at the others'' expense.

Worse than that, however, is the fact that every woman in this book either acts like a ''manic pixie dream girl'' or a cold, dead inside femme fatale who can rip anyone''s throat out at any point.

Unlike Angel of Darkness, the plot of this book does not excuse it''s many faults (though, I must admit there are a few page turning chapters that made it easier to get through the chaff.)

I would not recommend this book at all, especially if you like the first two installments of this trilogy.

I hope in the time since this book was published that Mr. Carr understands that Asian people don''t constantly make Asian jokes towards one another and that women are capable of more complex thought than "I''m going to seduce this guy" or "I''m going to kill this guy."
12 people found this helpful
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Sharon Russell
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Disappointing novel.
Reviewed in the United States on November 15, 2016
This book was a huge disappointment. I loved The Alienist and this is nothing like it. The plot is thin and the revelations easily anticipated. The novel is bloated with details that mainly demonstrate Carr''s knowledge of forensics rather than adding to the impact. I bought... See more
This book was a huge disappointment. I loved The Alienist and this is nothing like it. The plot is thin and the revelations easily anticipated. The novel is bloated with details that mainly demonstrate Carr''s knowledge of forensics rather than adding to the impact. I bought the book on the strength of th NYT''s review. The six hundred pages could easily have been reduced by half. There is much repetition. I am a great admirer of authors who use details to amplify the themes in their work. I could not see how the endless descriptions of the thawing of meat and the feeding of a pet cheetah added anything. Save your money.
36 people found this helpful
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Kenneth Stenger
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Surrender Caleb Carr
Reviewed in the United States on September 9, 2017
I bought this book for the same reason that everyone else who bought it, and who I suspect slogged through it out of loyalty to a talent known more than the talent on the pages, because Caleb Carr brought us Dr. Kreizler in The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness and the... See more
I bought this book for the same reason that everyone else who bought it, and who I suspect slogged through it out of loyalty to a talent known more than the talent on the pages, because Caleb Carr brought us Dr. Kreizler in The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness and the premise of this book promises a connection between our time and his. The promise is not delivered.

The plot is preposterous. The plot of the earlier books were as well, but not to the extreme of this book, and certainly not so extreme that it overwhelmed the main characters of the narrative. That is not the case here. In the earlier books, there were serial killers. In this book, there are politicians who cover up serial deaths to avoid the reality of "throwaway children". Given that these are New York politicians makes the plot all the more ridiculous. Those of us who live here understand that those politicians would not countenance murder to avoid the issue when all they would have to do is raise taxes to pay for it in a way that would line their pockets.

The writing is worse. In attempting to continue the Kreizler aura, Carr has his modern day protagonist, Trajan Jones, speak and think in the language of the Alienist. Although I enjoyed that reference to the earlier writing, it made no sense in a 600 page narrative that could have been edited to half of its size. Moreover, it made no sense because no one thinks or speaks like that any more although I would be the first to say that someone should.

Still there is something compelling about this writing that has more to do with the writer than the writing.

The first is the consistency of his voice. I can hear the whisper of Jeremy Irons in the voices of Lazlo Kreisler and Trajan Jones. Someone should make the movie before he is no longer available to do it. To hear any of this dialog in Irons'' voice would forgive the plot.

The second is the identity of Carr with Trajan Jones and the loneliness with which he has invested him. It didn''t connect until I finished the book and read the acknowledgements. Carr lives on a self named Misery Mountain with a wild cat named Masha There is no indication of any other emotional connection. That is the mystery that Carr presents in this book without a solution. I look forward to the one he might write that addresses the topic.
8 people found this helpful
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Philip C Spalding
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Where was his editor?
Reviewed in the United States on September 28, 2016
This book is an absolute mess . The plot had enough holes to drive a truck through. The characters are implausible. The end is inconclusive. I read it because I liked The Alienist, but I had to force myself to finish it.
28 people found this helpful
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C. M Mills
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Surrender, New York is a contemporary police procedural crime novel featuring Dr. Trajan Jones
Reviewed in the United States on February 9, 2018
Surrender, New York is a small town in upstate New York (mythical town). Living there is Dr. Trajan Jones. He is an amputee who teaches online courses in criminal profiling and forensic science along with his colleague Dr. Michael Li who teaches trace evidence. The men... See more
Surrender, New York is a small town in upstate New York (mythical town). Living there is Dr. Trajan Jones. He is an amputee who teaches
online courses in criminal profiling and forensic science along with his colleague Dr. Michael Li who teaches trace evidence. The men work for the State University of Albany. Jones owns Marcianna a beautiful cheetah rescued from an animal zoo. Pages featuring her were among the most interesting of the many pages in this very long novel!
. Bright children who have been abandoned by their families and labelled throwaway children" are found dead. All of the adolescents dreamed of a better life in New York City. Nicer Clothes! Beautiful horses! Rare first editions and an academic career and NBA gear are all possessions dreamed of by the deceased young people. Who is behind their deaths? What role does a corrupt local police and government exert in a possible conspiracy to keep the lid on the gruesome crimes? These are the questions being posed by author Caleb Carr is this complex story.
The novel is not an easy read and dermands full attention by the reader.The novel is too long and descriptions of decaying upstate New York towns could have been shortened. I kept going to the end and was rewarded with an overall good reading experience. The novel is not as good as Caleb Carrs'' classic The Alienist but it is worthy of your attention.
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Alison S. Coad
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Takes Time and Thought, Worth It
Reviewed in the United States on October 29, 2017
Trajan Jones, a forensic psychologist and psychiatrist, and his partner Mike Li, a criminal scientist, have been driven out of New York City by the powers that be when they expose the fallacies of popular “forensic science,” that stuff that TV shows like “CSI” spout and... See more
Trajan Jones, a forensic psychologist and psychiatrist, and his partner Mike Li, a criminal scientist, have been driven out of New York City by the powers that be when they expose the fallacies of popular “forensic science,” that stuff that TV shows like “CSI” spout and that are a bane to real criminal trials in today’s world. Given a couple of e-teaching spots at a SUNY campus not far from the rural landscape, they relocate to Jones’ Great-Aunt Clarissa’s property, where local police bring them into the investigation of first one, and then more, apparent murders of young teenagers. As they begin looking into the cases, a young local teen and his older sister/warder come into the picture, part of the epidemic of “throwaway kids” in New York, whose parents have simply disappeared, leaving the children behind. But there’s more going on here than meets the eye, and Jones’ relationship with a rescued, FIV cheetah is not the oddest part of the case…..I only scratch the surface in the above outline of this dense, complex novel, and I don’t want to say much about it other than that it expresses how difficult the understanding of deep realities in our human lives can be, even for those trained in understanding. I had difficulty with the cheetah part until late in the story and only came to fully agree with it in the author’s notes at the end of the book; that said, Marcianna is a wonderful creature! Deeply disturbing about human tragedy, but ultimately affirming in human compassion; recommended!
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Dr Mervyn Eastman
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Enjoying Carr, but......
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 19, 2020
Having been a fan of Caleb Carr since his debut novel, I remain a dedicated fan. I enjoyed this latest offering a great deal but there were narratives,on occasions of utter silliness, relationships so predictable and naff which surprised me. That said , I will continue to...See more
Having been a fan of Caleb Carr since his debut novel, I remain a dedicated fan. I enjoyed this latest offering a great deal but there were narratives,on occasions of utter silliness, relationships so predictable and naff which surprised me. That said , I will continue to consider Carr amongst my favourite novelists!
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S Carpenter
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Brilliant
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 28, 2019
Excellent book really enjoyed reading it
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Mrs. J. Murphy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 29, 2019
Great
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
great product
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 25, 2019
interesting plotline and good storytelling
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Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
He is back!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 27, 2018
Well worth the wait.
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