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''Holmes adored Chicago,'' I read eagerly as I turned the page, ''adored in particular how the smoke and din could envelop a woman and leave no hint that she had ever existed, save perhaps a blade-thin track of perfume amid the stench of dung, anthracite and putrefaction.'' This was Chicago, in the late 19th century, a time when women could step into the world and travel, find adventure, or employment. Chicago, of course, offered all three possibilities. It was also the perfect place for murderers to release their macabre passions and desires and never get apprehended for it, until it was too late. For its incredible historical detail and novelistic effect, The Devil in the White City is my favorite book.
Most of the book revolves around the World's Fair of 1893 and the story of an architect, William H. Burnham, who desperately tries to complete the building of the entire fair in a short amount of time. What I love most about the book is not only the incredible historical facts and details the book gives but also how the author managed to give the book a novelistic effect with the story of a murderer who used the fair as a tool to lure women into his house of horrors. After reading the book for the first time I was left shocked at how far human nature can into the evil side and I became fascinated with history and psychology, because at that point I wanted to learn how it is that criminals become criminals. What exactly do they feel and think as they are committing a crime? Do they feel any remorse afterwards for what they have done? Was there anything specific in their childhood that triggered them to become insane or unstable?
I love the intrigue, mystery, and suspense of the book and it will take many other reads to get me to like another book as much as I love this one.