Title: Surrender, New York
Author: Caleb Carr
Publication Date: August 23, 2016
Genre: Psychological Mystery
Recommended If You Like: dark, twisty mysteries; settings as plot points; profiling; complex characters
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.
In rural New York, multiple "throwaway children" (children abandoned by their parents and left to fend for themselves) have been found dead, their bodies left posed. Trajan Jones and Michael Li find themselves drawn into the case, with the assistance of Lucas Kurtz (a "throwaway child" himself), who brings his older sister (and guardian) into the mix.
What I Liked:
I'm a big fan of Caleb Carr--his books The Alienist and The Italian Secretary are favorites of mine. So I was really excited to see he had come out with a new book.
Surrender, New York has some really great twists (especially a big one in the third act that really shocked me), and a lot of exciting action sequences full of suspense and tension.
I also loved the character of Lucas--he's funny, complex, and real.
Anything I Didn't Like?
For having a lot of twists and action, this is a book that moves slowly. For me, quite a few parts felt repetitious, and it read like a book that could have used some serious parring down.
A lot of the bigger theories and parts of the solution surrounding the mystery also felt way too out there, which kept taking me out of the story.
I wanted to love this book, but I didn't. I liked it fine, but it was nowhere near as good as I was hoping it would be. There were even one or two times early on when I thought about not finishing it. The problem for me was it just moved so slowly, and a lot felt extraneous, or even outlandish.
But Carr kept me going with some expertly-plotted twists, including a big reveal that will definitely stay with me for quite a while. The last third of the book was action-packed and absolutely kept me hooked.
If you haven't read Carr before, start with The Alienist. Then go on to The Italian Secretary. Then decide if you want to try Surrender, New York.