Book Review: The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld



This book has gotten some press recently as the apparent result of a botched marketing plan. It is a shame, really, as The Interpretation of Murder is a pretty good read. Reminiscent of that other, turn of the century, murder mystery, The Alienist, Interpretation take the reader to 1909 New York. The cast of characters is a grab bag of NY society and the founders of psychoanalysis (Freud and Jung, play a big role).

Our heroes, Stratham Younger an American Psychoanalyst and Detective Littlemore, must collaborate to solve the murder of one socialite and the assault of another. The second crime provides impetus for the author's dissection of Freud's Oedipal Complex, as the young psychoanalyst is brought in to work Miss Nora Acton through a traumatic reaction to her assault.

Rubenfeld weaves multiple subplots together to inspect psychoanalysis, including a thorough discussion of Shakespeare's Hamlet and a particularly sordid family structure.

The Interpretation of Murder is a worthwhile read and a great buy, nowadays, stacks are already showing up in clearance bins. The victim, purportedly, of The Thirteenth Tale's juggernaut.

Next up: The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill

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