A few months ago I was reading an article about The Revenant and part of it talked about how Leonardo DiCaprio had bought the movie rights to a book called The Devil in the White City. I like reading source novels for for movies, so I kept an eye out for it and came across an electronic version. Over the ensuing weeks I read it on my commute to work and found it to be really interesting.

It covers two stories, with each chapter focusing on one of the two main characters and their experiences during the late 1800s. These two characters had vastly different interests – Daniel Burnham was the architect and designer of the Chicago World’s Fair, and H H Holmes, also based in Chicago, was one of the city’s worst serial killers.

I will be honest and say that when I started the book I read both stories, but as I got further in, my interest waned in the Burnham story, and I only read the Holmes sections which were riveting. The author, Erik Larsen, tells this non-fiction story like a novel and as such it was very engaging and a real page turner. The icy cold calmness of Holmes was communicated well, and this combined with the photo of Holmes on the cover of the book meant that I was able to visualise everything being described.

It was an interesting read, and if they do every get around to turning it into a movie I will be intrigued to see how they do it.


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