This debut novel by Alex Grecian is exactly my cup of tea, Victorian England tea that is. "The Yard," of course, refers to Scotland Yard and takes place in the year 1889, with the Jack the Ripper murders still fresh in the minds of London inhabitants and those who failed to catch the monster, the monster who introduced a new sort of murder to the city, serial murder with unrelated victims subjected to a depravity beyond the normal murders of acquaintances and kin. As a result of the Ripper murders, a new squad has been formed at the Yard called the Murder Squad, a force of 12 detectives assigned the escalating murders of London. Inspector Detective Walter Day is new to the squad and has been assigned the murder of one of their own, a member of the elite Murder Squad. The advent of criminology as a scientific method of gathering evidence and solving crimes is introduced through the character of Dr. Bernard Kingsley, coroner and meticulous investigator himself. These two dedicated crime solvers, along with a brilliantly created cast of support characters, must see their way through the fog (yes, I did) of clues and distractions to find a killer who is becoming all too comfortable with murder. Grecian's writing is so strong in so many areas--characterization, plot, setting, dialogue--that the phrase "page turner" is an easy assignation. The novel is rich with historic detail and references that blend effortlessly into the story. I was delighted to learn that this book is the first in a series that will be providing readers with what we always want after reading an especially good book, which is more, more, more.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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