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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Yale Law School professor Jed Rubenfeld's debut novel is nothing short of a mystery masterwork; revolving around Sigmund Freud's only visit to America, in 1909, the book entangles the Father of Psychoanalysis in a criminal investigation involving a murderous sadist who preys on affluent young women in New York City.
Invited to the States to deliver a series of potentially controversial lectures on psychoanalysis (and to receive an honorary doctoral degree from Clark University), Freud -- accompanied by protégés Sándor Ferenczi and Carl Jung -- is welcomed by budding young American psychoanalyst Dr. Stratham Younger. Upon learning of a horrific crime recently committed on a young woman whose memories of the attack have been repressed, Freud enlists Younger to act as the victim's analyst in hopes of uncovering the attacker's identity. Meanwhile, as more bodies are found, greenhorn detective Jimmy Littlemore must deal with an ill-tempered coroner, a megalomaniacal mayor, and a corrupt real estate magnate in his efforts to unmask the killer. Throw in Hamlet, a little sadomasochism, and a healthy dose of the Oedipal complex, and you've got yourself an addictively readable historical thriller.
Comparable to recent mysteries like An Unpardonable Crime by Andrew Taylor and Matthew Pearl's Dante Club (featuring, respectively, Edgar Allan Poe and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) -- this historical whodunit is as intricate as Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code and as thrilling as Caleb Carr's atmospheric classic The Alienist. If this singularly sensational debut is any indication, Jed Rubenfeld will be a name that mystery fans will not soon forget. Highly recommended. Paul Goat Allen