Book Review: The Interpretation of Murder

By Maya Sapieka

Set in 1909, in the midst of the flourishing industrial revolution in New York, The Interpretation of Murder is a fast-pace thriller about a the hunt for a terrifying serial killer. The novel takes you through various plots and is gripping from the very beginning.

Although the novel is fictional, Jed Rubenfeld uses real persons as characters to enhance the genuine feeling of the story. Psychoanalyst personalities such as Sigmund Freud join a young psychiatrist, Dr Stratham Younger, and detective Littlemore of the New York Police Department to help track down the killer of young and beautiful debutants. The debutants have been murdered in a brutal manner and their bodies have subsequently disappeared. The investigation leads them to numerous and intriguing suspects from a convicted murderer to the owner of the luxurious hotel where the psychoanalysts are staying.

The book is remarkable in its use of the early 1900’s timeframe and its accuracy to detail of the events that occurred in that time period. For example, huge historical emphasis is placed on the building of the Manhattan Bridge and the labourers who built it. The book also has its own interactive website where readers may add any information that may help to make the novel even more realistic.

Rubenfeld has successfully managed to create a novel so intensely realistic with characters that are so chillingly cruel, and has subsequently made this book impossible to put down. It’s a must-read for all those entranced by mystery thrillers. If there is one criticism, perhaps the numerous plots get a little confusing. But still a riveting read.


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