Surrender, New York

Surrender, New York

3.6 5
by Caleb Carr
     
 

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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

Overview

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

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Michael Connelly
In Surrender, New York, [Carr] has written an addictive contemporary crime procedural stuffed with observations on the manipulations of science and the particular societal ills of the moment. Call it mystery with multiple messages…Carr writes with a style full of depth and description…Every character and location is multilayered and heavily defined…It adds up to a languid but intoxicating pace. This is a novel you set time aside for. It is charming and eloquent between the horrors it captures.
Publishers Weekly
06/27/2016
Bestseller Carr’s ambitious, modern-day crime novel, a potential series kickoff, starts off strong but loses its way. Psychologist Trajan Jones and Mike Li, an “expert in trace and DNA evidence,” now teach online forensic courses out of a classroom in upstate New York, after their work discrediting official crime labs led to their exile from New York City. Their focus is on rebutting the notion that hard science has made criminal psychology and profiling obsolete. But certain odd details, such as Jones owning a pet cheetah, distract from that genuinely interesting debate and tend to make the central plot line less plausible, which involves the deaths of “throwaway children” that the authorities want to pass off, in an overly contrived scenario, as the work of a serial killer. Fans of Carr’s two superior historical mysteries, The Alienist and The Angle of Darkness, should be prepared for heavy foreshadowing and ponderous prose (“But this conception of our foray was to prove wholly inadequate, in manifold ways”). Agent: Suzanne Gluck, WME. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
“[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
 
“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

Library Journal
08/01/2016
After writing novels set in the past and future, Carr situates his latest in the present, featuring Trajan Jones, criminal psychologist and expert on Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (the hero of the best-selling The Alienist). Using Kreizler's profiling methods, Jones had much success solving crimes for the NYPD until the political winds changed, and he was fired and exiled to upstate New York. Living on his aunt's farm, Jones enlists his former police partner Mike Li, an expert in trace evidence, to help him teach an online criminal justice class. Soon, though, Jones and Li are asked to consult on a local suspicious death of a "throwaway" kid, a teen who had been abandoned by his parents. As similar deaths occur and are not thoroughly investigated, Jones and Li begin to suspect that someone in power is trying to cover up these crimes. The deeper they dig, the more danger they encounter, and they won't be out of harm's way until they expose the perpetrators. VERDICT Carr fans will welcome another weighty foray into criminal psychology, but several tirades against TV forensics shows such as CSI and current forensics practices occasionally bog down the engrossing mystery. [TNT is adapting The Alienist for television.—Ed.]—Melissa DeWild, BookOps, New York P.L.
Kirkus Reviews
2016-05-30
Carr (The Legend of Broken, 2012, etc.) returns with a curious whodunit that weds leisurely 19th-century storytelling with 21st-century unpleasantness.It's not a demand for the Big Apple to give up to the Wicked Witch. Instead, the title of Carr's new novel, full of echoes of and allusions to its predecessors, is also the name of an upstate town where NYPD psychologist Trajan Jones finds himself in exile, having crossed the brass one time too many. Now, with partner Mike Li, he's teaching criminology online, a fact that lands him new connections—including a student who's caught up in a whole mess of dark secrets surrounding the forest-shrouded burg. Complicating the story are the local gendarmes, a young blind woman who—this being a genre novel, after all—allows a good long glimpse at what's underneath her robe, and—this being a Carr novel, full of quirks all its own—a pet cheetah. Bringing Up Baby it's not, though a sordid twist involving what Carr euphemistically calls "illegal adoption" figures. It takes a good long while for the plot to unfold and the bad guys to emerge, as is the way of most police investigations—and of Carr's Trollope-an style, long on atmospherics and short of car chases and their moral equivalents. And, as always, Carr takes an encyclopedic, parenthetical, village-explainer approach that some readers, used to swifter narratives, might not wholly endorse; along the way, we learn, for example, of the tensions between medical examiners and coroners, who are not the same thing, and why Albany is the capital of New York, for better or worse. Yet 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: "He'd been hit in the center of the back, the shot shattering his spine and, I found when I turned him over, taking away part of his chest." Carr's many fans will find this well worth the wait.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679455691
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/23/2016
Pages:
608
Sales rank:
10,094
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.80(d)

Meet 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.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
August 2, 1955
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Education:
Attended Kenyon College, 1973-75; B.A. in history, New York University, 1977

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Surrender, New York 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous 15 days ago
This novel could have used a good editor, it would have been much better if it was half as long. Subtle it is not. The same points are driven home repeatedly with a sledgehammer. The premise is interesting and some settings and details are unique. The author seems obsessed with smoking for some reason to the detriment of the story. Although it was a bit of a slog, it kept pulling you back to finish it.
Anonymous 20 days ago
Excellent characters, intriguing premise, treatment of a serious issue. Just a little too long- some of the crises seem forced. But excellent writing makes up for a lot. Highly recommended
Anonymous 27 days ago
The two main characters were intelligent men with excellent vocabularies and the ability to express themselves clearly and precisely. Because of this, the repeated us of the "f" bomb and other expletives seemed unnecessary and out of character. It detracted from an overall good read. Were they there for shock value? Leaving them out would have enhanced the reading experience and undoubtedly cut about 50 pages from the book.
Yogaenthusiast 4 days ago
This is the first book by Caleb Carr that I've read, and it's fascinating. The book is long (600 pages), but the complexity of the plot and varied characters profit from the detail provided. Several topics are explored in depth, and I learned about tensions within the forensic science field. Also the topic of "throwaway" kids is deftly handled, and the difficulties of how society responds are explored. The issues are timely, and Carr clearly did his research. I'm glad I took the time to delve into this richly textured story, handled well by an author who is a very good writer.
Jill-Elizabeth_dot_com 18 days ago
Ugh. I really don’t like writing book reviews for books I couldn’t get into… This was one. And it was a book I requested, which makes it doubly disappointing. My review copy was generously provided by the good people at Random House. I am a huge fan of several of Caleb Carr’s earlier works. The Alienist and its sequel The Angel of Darkness and Killing Time are all phenomenal, as I’ve noted before. Carr writes detailed, lengthy, complicated books. Normally, I love that; I love getting drawn into a story, watching the story unfold through minutiae, particularly in mysteries. His latest book looked to be in that vein, and I was thrilled at the chance to get an advance copy for review. Unfortunately, something fell horribly flat for me with this one – so much so that I couldn’t even finish it… I loved the premise – the revisiting, even only conceptually, of Dr. Laszlo Kreizler from The Alienist/Angel series was very encouraging. I loved those books and that character and always lamented that there were not more of them. So any chance to bring him back, even tangentially as an influence for a contemporary character in a contemporary story, held tremendous promise. When I started reading, that promise seemed like it was about to be well realized. The first pages could have been progeny of the Kreizler books. The language felt comfortable and familiar coming from Carr’s pen (computer, whatever). I’ve seen other reviewers slam him for the formality of the language. Admittedly, it is unusual in a contemporary novel to find formal, nineteenth century-feeling, language for descriptions and scene-setting. That didn’t bother me though, because it felt like Carr – and once I got far enough in to get a good feel for Dr. Trajan Jones, it felt altogether appropriate. What to many seems to have felt like jarring dissonance felt, to me, like an homage – and a particularly relevant one, given Jones’ particular methods and personality. It was slow-going, but that was not necessarily a problem – until, rather suddenly, it was. I can’t point my finger to the issue I had, or explain it very well. All I know is that I have now opened and closed this book no less than a half-dozen times – and not because I’ve run out of reading time, but because I keep losing the story – and I’m not even to page 100. Each time I start reading, hit a rough spot, push through, hit a point that feels like the Carr I so enjoy, then suddenly find myself veering into a rather rambling exegesis on something that loses me entirely… Each. Time. Frustrating, to say the least. There is fabulous bone structure here, but it’s lost in an elephant-man tangle that I just can’t push past… It feels as though Carr wasn’t quite sure what book he was trying to write. On one hand, it is a mystery. On another, it is history. On a third, it is an explication of the challenges of being unconventional in a thoroughly (and downright depressingly) conventional world. On a fourth… Get the picture yet? If not I’ll short-hand it for you: it is a book that defies easy categorization, because it is (attempting to be) many things at once. The problem for me was that it felt like those things were disparate, and layered together like a sandwich, rather than patiently interwoven. And that’s where it kept losing me. Despite repeated attempts and much frustrated confusion on my part, I simply could not work my way through the entire thing or gin up enough interest to keep trying after the fourth or