The year is 1896. The city is New York. Newspaper reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned by his friend Dr. Laszlo Kreizler - a psychologist, or "alienist"—to view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy abandoned on the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge. From there the two embark on a revolutionary effort in criminology: creating a psychological profile of the perpetrator based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who will kill again before their hunt is over.
The Alienist is an American period drama television ten-episode limited series that first aired on TNT on January 22, 2018, and ended on March 26, 2018. The series stars Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans, and Dakota Fanning as an ad hoc team assembled in mid-1890s New York City to investigate a serial killer who is murdering street children.
If you enjoyed The Alienist, check out these suggestions for the popular historical mystery.
Nellie Bly, Jules Verne, Oscar Wilde, and Louis Pasteur team up during the 1889 World's Fair in Paris to find a killer connected to a virulent plague infecting thousands of Parisians.
1911. Chief Investigator Isaac Bell of the Van Dorn Detective Agency has had many extraordinary cases before. But none quite like this. Hired to find a young woman named Anna Pape who ran away from home to become an actress, Bell gets a shock when her murdered body turns up instead. Vowing to bring the killer to justice, he begins a manhunt which leads him into increasingly more alarming territory.
New York City, 1845. Timothy Wilde, a 27-year-old Irish immigrant, joins the newly formed NYPD and investigates an infanticide and the body of a 12-year-old Irish boy whose spleen has been removed.
Thomas De Quincey, infamous for his memoir, 'Confessions of an English Opium-Eater', is the major suspect in a series of ferocious mass murders identical to ones that terrorized London forty-three years earlier. Desperate to clear his name but crippled by opium addiction, De Quincey is aided by his devoted daughter Emily and a pair of determined Scotland Yard detectives.
In post-Civil War New York, an investor mounts an operation to free a group of children held as slaves in Florida. The investor is William Bartholomew who served in the Union army as a sniper and he does it at the behest of his Creole girlfriend.
The murder of Judge Hugo Jackson is out of Detective Simon Ziele's jurisdiction in more ways than one. Drayson, an anarchist, set off a bomb at a Carnegie wedding that killed passerbys. Simon's assigned precinct on Manhattan's west side includes the gritty Tenderloin but not the tonier Gramercy Park, which is where the judge is found dead on the night before the jury is set to deliberate. His widow insists on calling her husband's old classmate criminologist Alistair Sinclair, who in turn enlists Ziele's help. Together they must steer Sinclair's unorthodox methods past a police force that is so focused on rounding up Drayson's supporters that they've all but rejected any other possibilities.