OK, Lovelyish Book Club! By now you should have completely finished Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City. So whatdya think?! Let’s talk about Part IV and discuss after the cut!
- Part IV starts with a new character — a detective in Philadelphia trying to figure out what exactly Holmes is up to after he is charged with faking a man’s death for insurance money. Faking a death? Hm, that doesn’t sound like Holmes!
- Uh oh, there were three kids traveling with Holmes — where are they now? The detective’s journey across cities retracing Holmes’ steps is kind of nervewracking!
- Holmes, back in prison in Philadelphia during the search, continues to manipulate people with letters! And starts writing a memoir. And is completely insane.
- In Toronto, sadly, the detective finds two of the children dead. Apparently Holmes constructed a gas chamber out of a trunk. But what about the third kid?
- The last child’s body is found in Indianapolis by the detective. Holmes continues to deny any murder, even while Chicago police discover what he did in his ‘hotel’ during the World’s Fair.
- Holmes publishes his memoir, and also goes to trial in several cities for murder.
- His “hotel” burns down, mysteriously, and all further evidence of his despicable murders is lost.
- In the epilogue, Larson details what happened to all the key people of the World’s Fair in the ensuing years.
- Holmes goes to trial in Philadelphia, admits that he killed many, many people and is sentenced to death.
- I was super creeped out when reading about all the weird things that happened to people in connection with Holmes, after he died. Like the District Attorney who died in a fire — and the only thing that survived was a photo of Holmes. AHHHHH.
- And we’re back to the beginning, where Burnham is wondering what happened on the Titanic. His old friend Millet has died. Burnham dies a month and a half later.
What did you think of the novel, Lovelies? Did you enjoy it? Did anyone actually finish it? Thanks for reading along with me here. Au revoir, LBC!