Writers of history often succumb to many evils of the genre, and despite his own missteps I think Erik Larson has created a truly wonderful book that will be accessible to both serious and casual students of history. His major fault is in alluding to upcoming events or revelations and then changing course entirely, but this can be forgiven for his lucid explanations and novelist's ability to weave a compelling narrative. That he does this through chapters alternating between the point of view of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition's chief architect and a prolific serial killer (who attended Ann Arbor's own UM back in the day) is particularly impressive. Larson has a gift for interweaving contextual background information into the main narrative and avoids a prolonged scene-setting introduction, instead illuminating 1890s Chicago throughout the story. Some scenes involving murderer H. H. Holmes may be disturbing to some readers, but "The Devil in the White City" is an excellent choice for those interested in Chicago history, the World's Fair, or who just want a gripping true crime story. Highly recommended.