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The Devil in the White City

Erik Larson

Summary and Analysis Part III: Chapter 27 - The World's Fair Hotel

Summary

With the hotel ready for guests, Holmes frequently denies men access, claiming that there are no vacancies, leaving more rooms for young women. All the young female guests only spark jealousy in Minnie. In response, Holmes decides to rent a flat outside of the hotel, telling Minnie it would be a better place for them to have children. With the flat conveniently located several blocks from the hotel, Holmes and Minnie move in at the beginning of June 1893. Their move leaves Holmes free to enjoy the hotel. Despite the fact that business is booming, Holmes doesn't seem to mind that his guests leave sometimes without warning and without paying for their stays.

Analysis

Larson implies that Holmes kills many of the nameless young women who stay in his hotel. As in previous chapters, Larson creates an impression that Holmes is killing people without providing direct images. Here, Larson portrays guests leaving without warning, unpaid stays in his hotel, and the smell of medicine, but the reader never experiences Holmes actually killing anyone. These suggested murders symbolize the hundreds of nameless people Holmes is believed to have killed. The author is able to maintain historical accuracy while advancing the plot and developing Holmes's character even more.