Sunday, April 22, 2012

Review # 137: The Yard by Alex Grecian

     After failing to unmask and capture the infamous killer - Jack the Ripper, London's Scotland Yard detectives, dubbed "The Murder Squad", are doubted by the citizens they are sworn to protect. But when a new threat descends upon London's Victorian era streets, and a detective ends up dead, the squad and their new leader, Walter Day, must stake their declining reputation on finding an elusive killer. Working with the Yard's first forensic pathologist, Dr. Kingsley, Day must find the killer before another detective ends up sewn-up in a trunk. Can new-age science and Sherlock-ian sleuthing come together to solve so gruesome a case? Or will London's streets run red before the weeks end?

     I have always been a big fan of Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew, and Encyclopedia Brown - AKA the detectives of my childhood; so when I heard about Alex Grecian's The Yard, I knew I had to find a copy. Victorian era London is graphic, with bloody good detail and characters that rough-up the senses. Each character has their own back-story and their actions keep the reader guessing. I particularly enjoyed reading about Hammersmith and Kingsley, who were well-developed and thoroughly entertaining. The plot had me hooked from page one, and although I discovered who the killer was way before the ending, I was consistently surprised by the twists and turns throughout. The dialogue was also quite entertaining, but I felt that it may have been a little bit too "recent" in some areas; this didn't take away from the overall readability. Great first novel, spectacularly detailed, and page-turningly-action-packed! I definitely recommend this book to all mystery lovers as well as fans of Sherlock Holmes and Victorian London; I hope that Alex Grecian writes a follow-up or two since he left the ending open, and I will be looking into his graphic novel series Proof as well!

Rating: On the Run (4.5/5)

*** I received this book from the author (G. P. Putnam's Sons - Penguin Group USA) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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