Course Hero. "The Devil in the White City Study Guide." Course Hero. 17 May 2017. Web. 17 July 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Devil-in-the-White-City/>.
Course Hero. (2017, May 17). The Devil in the White City Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved July 17, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Devil-in-the-White-City/
(Course Hero, 2017)
Course Hero. "The Devil in the White City Study Guide." May 17, 2017. Accessed July 17, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Devil-in-the-White-City/.
Course Hero, "The Devil in the White City Study Guide," May 17, 2017, accessed July 17, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Devil-in-the-White-City/.
The beginning note introduces the true story of two men, an architect and an urban serial killer, linked by a "magical event" that took place at the end of the 19th century. Both men embody the spirit of the coming 20th century, albeit in very different ways, and their story is ultimately about the conflict between good and evil.
Erik Larson uses his introductory note to remind readers the story they are about to be told is true. He writes in the "new journalism" style, which borrows techniques from fiction. He creates suspense by exploring humankind's battle between the forces of darkness and light. Larson deliberately withholds the names of his two protagonists in the text (although they are cited in the epigraphs) as well as the name of the "magical event" that brought them together to create suspense.