Erik Larson brings history to life

Erik Larson brings history to life

Kayleigh Rhodes

The Devil in the White City is a captivating book about magic and murder at a fair and a hotel. Including real-life characters like Thomas Edison, Susan B. Anthony, Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser and Archduke Francis Ferdinand, among others, the story captivates the reader from the beginning.

Author Erik Larson uses characters from the real world to bring his magnificent story to life, surrounding the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair with such drama that readers may think they have picked up a work of fiction rather than a non-fiction novel. The story focuses on events that took place in real life – with a little twist. It tells us the story of two very different men who were driven crazy by the fair’s events: Daniel Hudson Burnham, the architect in charge of the construction of the fair, and Henry H. Holmes, who seems to be a respectful doctor but who is in fact a serial killer.

Burnham plans to turn swampy Jackson Park into an amazing fairgrounds called The White City. He encounters many obstacles, but with the help of talented architects, he is able to get it done. Holmes creates the World’s Fair Hotel- complete with torture chambers, dissection tables, gas chambers and a crematorium. Holmes uses the attraction of his hotel and charm to lure women to their deaths.

The two stories, wrapped and intertwined, provide the reader with hours of entertainment. The Devil in the White City won multiple awards in 2003 for it’s mystery and horror-based theme. This is a great read for anyone who loves murder mysteries.