Book Review: Surrender, New York by Caleb Carr

It took me ages to finish this book. Through no fault of the author, though. I just suddenly found myself very short on free time in which I could actually focus to read. Which resulted in this review being very delayed. 

All of that said, I love Caleb Carr and I was super excited about this book. Carr’s book The Alienist is one of my all time favorite books. 

Surrender, New York is a sequel of sorts to The Alienist and,  it’s previous direct sequel, Angel of Darkness. It’s set in a modern time period, placing it approximately 120 years after the events of The Alienist but sturdily existing in the same universe. 

The main character, Trajan Jones, in Surrender New York speaks often of Leizlo Kreizler, the protagonist of The Alienist and Angel of Darkness. Jones is essentially the modern profiler whereas Kreizler was a part of the origin of the profession. 

In Surrender New York, Jones and his partner are no longer working criminalists. They are online college professors who work from an old airplane hanger on the property of Jones great aunt Clarissa on the outskirts of a town called Surrender in the state of New York. 

As well as their teaching jobs Jones and his partner Mike Li also consult occasionally for local law enforcement. This consulting leads to their involvement with a series of deaths that appear to be a part of a very far reaching conspiracy. 

That’s all the information I can give without major spoilers. So, I’ll give my opinions on the book now instead. 

I enjoyed the book. I did not enjoy it as much as The Alienist or Angel of Darkness. The mystery was interesting and the conclusion mostly satisfactory. 

The only thing that hurt it in my opinion is the fact that Carr’s writing style is less fitting for a modern setting than it is for a historical setting. The verbose, descriptive style fit right into the late 1800s NYC in The Alienist and Angel of Darkness. It wasn’t even noticeable in that setting. 

In the more modern setting of Surrender, New York the style does stand out. It fits the criminalist professor Tragan Jones but not so much the setting. 

I choose to see it as intentional. Tragan himself doesn’t fit in the modern setting. So, it fits perfectly for the style to not fit either. That said, the style being distracting at times does cause one strike against the book for me. 

It’s still worth reading. Anything by Caleb Carr is worth reading. Just if you haven’t read The Alienist and you read this first don’t hold that against The Alienist. The style isn’t as distracting when reading The Alienist. 

If you’d like to read Surrender New York by Caleb Carr then you can purchase it from your favorite bookseller right now. And you should. 

*i received this book without charge in exchange for an honest review* 


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