The Interpretation of Murder
By Jed Rubenfeld
(Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 9780805080988, 384pp.)
Publication Date: September 5, 2006
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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, The Interpretation of Murder 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 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. The Interpretation of Murder leads readers 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. Richly satisfying, elegantly crafted, The Interpretation of Murder marks the debut of a brilliant, spectacularly entertaining new storyteller.
Currently the Robert R. Slaughter Professor of Law at Yale University, Jed Rubenfeld is one of this country's foremost experts on constitutional law. As a Princeton undergraduate, he completed his thesis on Freud. At the Juilliard School, he studied Shakespeare. Rubenfeld lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with his wife and two children.
"This is a bold page-turner that propels us from the start with with a driving plot and intriguing characters, but also with ideas--a whole history of ideas. It's a richly motivated thriller that will make you reconsider the mysteries of Freud and Hamlet. Here is a novel that you'll only want to put down in order to think more about the book."--Matthew Pearl, author of The Dante Club