On the cover it says, “MURDER, MAGIC, AND MADNESS AT THE FAIR THAT CHANGED AMERICA”, which is what drew me into reading this book. However, to me it contained more magic and madness than murder. Sure, part of the story involves a serial killer who hid his tracks well, but I feel as though it wasn’t the main focus until the end. Even during that part it wasn’t as thrilling as I had hoped for.
All the talk about the World Fair had me in awe and wonder. The event that was created impacted life farther out in the future than I think the creators imagined. It seemed as though the main focus was to out do Paris, and to bring pride to Chicago. The end result brought so much more to the table. In the process of building the fair they offered benefits to employees that had never been done before, breaking the barrier in employee relations. They also created jobs during a time period where unemployment rates were sky high. It was the most attended peaceful event in history at the time. Some of the display exhibits included items we use in our everyday lives. The World Fair also presented us with the Ferris Wheel.
The magic of the World Fair and its creation is inspiring. Throughout reading the story it left me to wonder what an event like this would bring us in the modern age. Would flying cars become a reality?
The murder side of “The Devil in the White City” did give me the shivers. This man preyed on woman who were especially easy targets (no fault to them given the time period). He would bring on the charm and promise them extravagant things they may not get or do on their own. On top of that he didn’t pay any debts accrued with his businesses and even when dealing with other men he came out winning. His way of claiming not to be the bad guy is sickening. The detectives had their work cut out for them to ensure he got the punishment that he deserved for his cruel actions.
Despite the bit of disappointment I had judging the book from the cover I would still recommend this book. There is so much more to the story that readers can benefit from. If you read this book I hope it leaves with the same feeling of awe and imagination it left me with.