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Surrender, New York by Caleb Carr

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Surrender, New York by Caleb Carr

Surrender, New York by Caleb Carr

It’s been almost twenty years since Caleb Carr released The Angel of Darkness and fans have been eagerly awaiting another book from him about forensic scientists.  Instead of taking place in the 1890s this is a present day story focusing on a profiler, Dr. Trajan Jones, and a trace evidence expert, Dr. Michael Lee, who have been forced out of New York City and now teach classes at SUNY Albany based on the teachings of the first profilers back in the 1890s, the men Carr’s earlier books were based on.  The focus on these teachings and how that viewpoint affects the way Jones and Lee evaluate the case that they are called in to consult on is the only way Carr’s earlier book and this one are tied together.

Jones and Lee (and I can’t help but also think the author) have a serious problem with the way law enforcement currently operates and all the CSI types of television shows.  They feel that evidence should be viewed in context without preconceived ideas of the perpetrator of the crime or a reliance on statistical probabilities.  Using these methods get the duo in deeper and deeper in a case that someone high up in politics doesn’t seem to want to be solved.

There are a lot of dead ends and red herrings as well as twists and turns that keep the novel moving but the book seems to be overlong and there are some subplots that threaten to take over the narrative unnecessarily.  I must admit, I don’t know if I would have stuck with the book if I had read it.  But I listened to it and really enjoyed it, especially the Queens and Upstate New York accents, both of which I’m very familiar with and it felt like a journey to the past for me because of it.  

This will most likely be the first a series and I would be interested in listening to the next, but I hope the author and editor work together to tighten up (and shorten) the next book. 

By | 2017-05-03T20:01:55+00:00 October 6th, 2016|SCLSNJ Recommended Reads|
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