Books before food (and any sort of comfortable life).
Summary: In this ingenious, suspenseful historical thriller, Sigmund Freud is drawn into the mind of a sadistic killer who is savagely attacking Manhattan’s wealthiest heiresses. Inspired by Sigmund Freud’s only visit to America, this book is an intricate tale of murder and the mind’s most dangerous mysteries. It unfurls on a sweltering August evening in 1909 as Freud disembarks from the steamship George Washington, accompanied by Sandor Ferenczi and 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 chandelier—whipped, mutilated, and strangled. The next day, a second beauty—a rebellious heiress who scorns both high society and her less adventurous parents—barely escapes the killer. Yet Nora Acton, suffering from hysteria, can recall nothing of her attack. Asked to help her, Dr. Stratham Younger, America’s 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. Readers are lead from the salons of Gramercy Park, through secret passages, to Chinatown—even 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.
This book will not do anything less than challenge your entire mind with plot twists and logic puzzles that will have you clueless until the final pages of the book. At some points I was literally jumping up, screaming, “What?? How is that possible?!” while at other times I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. There are many books that are completely predictable from the very beginning, but I have to say that this is not one of them. Nothing I predicted in the beginning was even remotely close to being true. But what I love most about this book, second only to the amazing twists, is the subtle historical references and humor. Granted, no book can be 100% accurate (because then it would be considered non-fiction), but the fact that it is so thoroughly researched and based on true events is remarkable. Even more remarkable is the fact that only two characters are completely fictitious. I really loved this book and I hope to see a lot more from Jed Rubenfeld.