Caleb Carr books in order
Caleb Carr is an American military historian and author of mystery, thriller, historical mystery and non-fiction books.
He is best known for writing The Alienist (1994), The Angel of Darkness (1997), Killing Time (2000), The Devil Soldier (1992), The Lessons of Terror (2002), among others.
Born in Manhattan, New York, Caleb attended Kenyon College and New York University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in military and diplomatic history.
Other than teaching military history at Bard College, Caleb also has a wealth of experience in film, television, and theater.
His writings on politics and the military have appeared in numerous magazines and periodicals, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
Caleb now lives in upstate New York, having spent most of his life on the Lower East Side.
Genres: Historical Mystery, Mystery, Non-fiction, Thriller
- Casing the Promised Land (1980)
- Killing Time (2000)
- The Italian Secretary (2005)
- The Legend of Broken (2012)
- Surrender, New York (2016)
Laszlo Kreizler and John Schuyler Moore
- The Alienist (1994)
- The Angel of Darkness (1997)
- America Invulnerable: The Quest for Absolute Security from 1812 to Star Wars (1988)
- The Devil Soldier: The Story of Frederick Townsend Ward (1992)
- The Lessons of Terror: A History of Warfare Against Civilians (2002)
- Doctoral Deformation (2017)
Detailed book overview
The characters in Caleb Carr's arresting first novel, Casing the Promised Land, speak for a generation that has come of age in the 1970s, people for whom Vietnam and Watergate are not disillusionments but historical facts of life.
The book's narrator, Jason Foster, is a recent college graduate who works in a record store in order to pay the rent on the Greenwich Village apartment he shares with his younger brother, Henry, and their friend Michael Collins. None of the three knows yet who he is or what he will become; and their story is, among other things, a journey in search of the self.
Its focal point soon becomes Mike, trapped between his own desire to be a rock guitarist and his inability to reject his family's conventional ambitions for him, a dilemma compounded by the two young women he loves and their own differing dreams for him.
Casing the Promised Land is very much a young man's novel. In the way it takes for granted sexual freedom, pot, booze, television and, above all, rock and roll, it is one of the first works of fiction to describe today's youth. But in other, deeper ways it is a timelessly romantic work to which no one who is either young or young in heart can fail to respond.
Meet Dr. Gideon Wolfe, expert criminologist of the new millennium. A professor at New York's John Jay University in the year 2023, he lives in an era that has seen plague, a global economic crash, and the 2018 assassination of President Emily Forrester. In this turbulent new world order, Wolfe's life and everything he knows are turned upside down when the widow of a murdered special-effects wizard enters his office.
The widow hands him a silver disc from her husband's safety deposit box, hoping that Wolfe's expertise in history and criminology will compel him to track down her husband's killers. The disc contains footage of President Forrester's assassination, the same video that has been broadcast countless times on TV and over the internet-with one crucial, shocking difference: This version shows that before the video was released, it was altered with sinister special effects.
This explosive discovery will lead Gideon Wolfe on an electrifying journey from a criminal underworld of New York to the jungles of Africa and on a quest to find the truth in an age when all information can be manipulated.
Mycroft Holmes's encoded message to his brother, Sherlock, is unsubtle enough even for Dr. Watson to decipher: a matter concerning the safety of Queen Victoria herself calls them to Edinburgh's Holyroodhouse to investigate the confounding and gruesome deaths of two young men―horrific incidents that took place with Her Highness in residence. The victims were crushed in a manner surpassing human power. And while recent attempts on Her Majesty's life raise a number of possibilities, these intrigues also seem strangely connected to an act of evil that took place centuries earlier…
For indeed, the slaying of David Rizzio, music master and friend to Mary, Queen of Scots, was an extraordinarily brutal and treacherous act―even for a time when brutality and treachery were the order of the day. Now, the ghosts of Holyroodhouse are being reawakened by someone with a diabolical agenda of greed, madness, and terror as Holmes and Watson set out to trap a killer who is eager to rewrite history in blood...
Some years ago, a remarkable manuscript long rumored to exist was discovered: The Legend of Broken. It tells of a prosperous fortress city where order reigns at the point of a sword—even as scheming factions secretly vie for control of the surrounding kingdom. Meanwhile, outside the city’s granite walls, an industrious tribe of exiles known as the Bane forages for sustenance in the wilds of Davon Wood.
At every turn, the lives of Broken’s defenders and its would-be destroyers intertwine: Sixt Arnem, the widely respected and honorable head of the kingdom’s powerful army, grapples with his conscience and newfound responsibilities amid rumors of impending war.
Lord Baster-kin, master of the Merchants’ Council, struggles to maintain the magnificence of his kingdom even as he pursues vainglorious dreams of power. And Keera, a gifted female tracker of the Bane tribe, embarks on a perilous journey to save her people, enlisting the aid of the notorious and brilliant philosopher Caliphestros.
Together, they hope to exact a ruinous revenge on Broken, ushering in a day of reckoning when the mighty walls will be breached forever in a triumph of science over superstition.
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?
Laszlo Kreizler and John Schuyler Moore
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.
Fast-paced and riveting, infused with historical detail, The Alienist conjures up Gilded Age New York, with its tenements and mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. It is an age in which questioning society’s belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and fatal consequences.
June 1897. A year has passed since Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a pioneer in forensic psychiatry, tracked down the brutal serial killer John Beecham with the help of a team of trusted companions and a revolutionary application of the principles of his discipline. Kreizler and his friends—high-living crime reporter John Schuyler Moore; indomitable, derringer-toting Sara Howard; the brilliant (and bickering) detective brothers Marcus and Lucius Isaacson; powerful and compassionate Cyrus Montrose; and Stevie Taggert, the boy Kreizler saved from a life of street crime—have returned to their former pursuits and tried to forget the horror of the Beecham case.
But when the distraught wife of a Spanish diplomat begs Sara’s aid, the team reunites to help find her kidnapped infant daughter. It is a case fraught with danger, since Spain and the United States are on the verge of war. Their investigation leads the team to a shocking suspect: a woman who appears to the world to be a heroic nurse and a loving mother, but who may in reality be a ruthless murderer of children.
Chace and Carr present a splendid and often entertaining account of the American pursuit of invulnerability and how this intense drive for security has shaped our 200-year history.
It contends that the government's latest proposal, Star Wars, is but one of a long line of attempts to create an America invulnerable to outside threats--military, political, or social.
NB: Co-authored with James Chace.
With the same flair for history and narrative that distinguished his bestseller, The Alienist, Caleb Carr tells the incredible story of Frederick Townsend Ward, the American mercenary who fought for the emperor of China in the Taiping rebellion, history's bloodiest civil war. The Devil Soldier is a thrilling, masterfully researched biography of the kind of adventurer the world no longer sees.
Military historian Caleb Carr’s groundbreaking work anticipated America’s current debates on preemptive military action against terrorist sponsor states, reorganization of the American intelligence system, and the treatment of terrorists as soldiers in supranational armies rather than as criminals.
Carr’s authoritative exploration demonstrates that the practice of terrorism, employed by national armies as well as extremists since the days of ancient Rome, is ultimately self-defeating. Far from prompting submission, it stiffens enemy resolve and never leads to long-lasting success.
Controversial on its initial publication in 2002, The Lessons of Terror has been repeatedly validated by subsequent events. Carr’s analysis of individual terrorist acts, and particularly of the history of the Middle East conflict, is fundamental to a deep understanding of the roots of terrorism as well as the steps and reforms that must be taken if the continuing threat of terrorist behavior is to be met effectively today and, finally, eradicated tomorrow.