Surrender, New York

In the small town of Surrender in upstate New York, Trajan 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 cheetah, 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, 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 them to uncover the truth. Jones believes the real story leads back to the city where both he and Dr. Kreizler did their greatest work. But will they 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.


My rating: 5 Stars

I enjoyed this book more than I would have thought possible and it made me question why I do not read more crime books. This book was heartbreaking what those children were forced to do. But the book was a pure murder mystery. I have to admit that it could have been shorter. 600+ pages was a bit much and there was a lot of unnecessary stuff that I did not need to necessarily know and that made the book drag at points. I did enjoy all the characters. Trajan was a complex and deep character who just wanted to do the right thing. Michael was also a good guy. The dynamic between Mike and Trajan had me laughing out loud at times. I loved that Caleb Carr added Lucas to that dynamic because it just made it that much better. Lucas's sister was a nice addition to add some much needed romance to the story.

You will be kept guessing until the end what is actually going on. As the synopsis states above, throwaway children are being found dead. It starts with a case of a fifteen-year-old girl being found in an abandoned trailer in the middle of nowhere. Throughout the book you're wondering what is going on; why are these kids from nowhere ending up dead with expensive things with them? The truth of what was happening to them was shocking and heartbreaking. I do recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good murder mystery. I am happy I picked this one up and I cannot wait to read the Alienist by the same author.

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