The Interpretation of Murder

The interpretation of murder is a fascinating mystery by Jed Rubenfeld. Set during Freud's visit to the United States in 1909, Freud and his young American colleague Stratham Younger are thrown into a mystery when a young woman is attacked and brutally murdered in a swish New York apartment. Shortly afterwards another young girl is also brutally attacked, and although she survives has lost her voice and is suffering from amnesia. Younger works with the girl in order to bring back her memory and capture the murderer.

This is an intriguing mystery, the brutality of the storyline reminded me of James Ellroy, especially The Black Dahlia, there are also overtones of that classic psycho-analytic movie Spellbound. Occasionally confusing this novel is nevertheless a stunning fast-paced read. Where it really scores however is in the background detail of turn-of-the-century New York. It is lovingly and exhaustively re-created right down to the colour of the taxi cabs. Well worth reading just for the historical detail alone.


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