163. The Beast of Chicago by Rick Geary

The Beast of Chicago: The Murderous Career of H.H. Holmes by Rick Geary
A Treasury of Victorian Murder, Book 6

Pages: unnumbered
Finished: Oct. 13, 2008
First Published: 2003
Genre: True crime, history, Graphic Novel
Rating: 4/5
Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

First sentence:

The year is 1893.

Comments: This is the story of H.H. Holmes, who was infamous as the monster of the Chicago World's Fair in the late 1890s. He built a large building he named "The Castle" which had secret rooms, gas rooms, laboratories, torture rooms, etc. He is known as being America's first serial killer, though actually he was probably just the first one caught and punished. He is thought to have murdered hundreds of people, especially women by running a lodging house within the castle.

Geary's illustrations are on par with previous books in this series. I often think he gets better as he goes along. The detail in his drawings are amazing and the black and white illustrations capture the mood of the story being told.

My only complaint with this novel is that it seemed to rush through the story only skimming the surface and has left me wanting to read more of H.H. Holmes. I already have two other books on my tbr list about this murderer that I will have to get to shortly. Great introduction to the man though and a perfect starting point for those wanting to know the story of this vicious and unconscionable man.


  1. I'm really curious about this book. I recently read lost boy lost girl by Peter Straub, which was indirectly inspired by H.H. Holmes' story. Curiously enough, I was left with the same feeling that the story only skimmed the surface. Still, this sounds like something I'd like to read.

  2. I hope the Devil in the White City is one of the TBR books, because it is pretty detailed in looking into HH Holmes' life, along with the World Fair in Chicago. Excellent book.

  3. nymeth, I'm sure you'll love this and especially the graphic format as well.

    raidergirl, yes "The Devil in the White City" is one of the books on my tbr list about HH Holmes. The other is "Depraved" by Harold Schechter. I read one of Schechter's books earlier this year about a Victorian poisoness and loved it.

  4. Oh, you have to read Devil in the White City! HH Holmes certainly is a scary character (if you can call him that)--very intriguing and frightening. Even that book left me wanting a little bit more, though--there's still so much unknown about his life.


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