Tracking Down a Gilded Age Serial Killer in The Alienist


Start with one incredibly successful novel, add an extremely talented group of actors, and place them into a TV series that has feature film-level production, and you get TNT’s adaption of The Alienist by Caleb Carr.

The Alienist is a psychological thriller set in 1890s New York that follows a cast of characters on their hunt to find a vicious serial murderer who is terrorizing the Lower East Side. The series strikes the perfect balance between the suspense of a binge-worthy crime show and the detail of a Gilded Age period piece. With its mix of fictional and historical characters—including Theodore Roosevelt—and it’s impressive character development, it didn’t take long for me to get attached to this show. As the characters pursue the truth about the mysterious murderer, they must each come to terms with something difficult from their past.

I particularly love Sarah Howard’s story (played by Dakota Fanning), who serves as the first woman to work for the NYPD. Who doesn’t love a tough, smart, and relatable woman, determined to achieve her dreams in a man’s world?

Start watching The Alienist, check out the book that the series is based on, or discover more great movies and TV.

Julie Guacci graduated from the University of Maryland in 2016 with degrees in both Marketing and History. She is currently employed at Hachette Book Group and lives in New York City. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, playing guitar, reading (of course!), painting and watching her favorite New York sports teams and her Maryland Terrapins.