From the book jacket: Inspired by
Sigmund Freuds only visit to America, The Interpretation of
Murder is an intricate tale of murder and the minds most
dangerous mysteries. It unfurls on a sweltering August evening
in 1909 as Freud disembarks from the steamship George
Washington, accompanied by Carl Jung, his rival and protégé.
Across town, in an opulent apartment high above the city, a
stunning young woman is found dangling from a
chandelierwhipped, mutilated, and strangled. The next day, a
second beautya rebellious heiress who scorns both high society
and her less adventurous parentsbarely escapes the killer. Yet
Nora Acton, suffering from hysteria, can recall nothing of her
attack. Asked to help her, Dr. Stratham Younger, Americas most
committed Freudian analyst, calls in his idol, the Master
himself, to guide him through the challenges of analyzing this
high-spirited young woman whose family past has been as
complicated as his own.
The Interpretation of Murder leads readers from the salons of Gramercy Park, through secret passages, to Chinatowneven far below the currents of the East River where laborers are building the Manhattan Bridge. As Freud fends off a mysterious conspiracy to destroy him, Younger is drawn into an equally thrilling adventure that takes him deep into the subterfuges of the human mind.
Comment: The Dante Club meets the sexual manipulations of Les Liaisons dangereuses in this intelligent historical novel by Jed Rubenfeld, one of the country's foremost experts on constitutional law, and a Professor of Law at Yale, who graduated from Princeton having written his thesis on Freud (apparently, he also found time to study Shakespeare at The Juilliard School).
A number of reviewers compare Rubenfeld to Caleb Carr, and specifically to The Alienist (1994) which is also set in late-19th Century New York, with some thinking that Carr's is the better novel (it's always a challenge for a new book to live up to the fond memory of a formerly read book).
The Interpretation of Murder (a play on the title of Freud's Interpretation of Dreams) is an enjoyable first novel, albeit a little overstuffed - wealthy sadists, unscrupulous villains, inscrutable Chinamen, violent psychoanalysts, scheming entrepreneurs, political corruption and beautiful damsels in distress all vie for center stage. There's even a dollop of kinky sex (usually tastefully off stage) thrown in for good measure.
This review was originally published in September 2006, and has been updated for the June 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.
Discover your next great read here
The less we know, the longer our explanations.
Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.
Your guide toexceptional books
BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.