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The Yard (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad Series #1)

Average Rating 4
( 184 )
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5 Star

(120)

4 Star

(24)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(21)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

30 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

Any notion of Victorian England as a place of sweetness and ligh

Any notion of Victorian England as a place of sweetness and light will be quickly disspelled by Alex Grecian's new book, whose grim descriptions of 19th-century London are more Dickens than Austin. Most of the city is filthy. Life is cheap among the masses of the poor. ...
Any notion of Victorian England as a place of sweetness and light will be quickly disspelled by Alex Grecian's new book, whose grim descriptions of 19th-century London are more Dickens than Austin. Most of the city is filthy. Life is cheap among the masses of the poor. Cutthroats mingle with pickpockets, prostitutes, and thieves. The dead are thrown into charnel houses. The indigent and mentally ill are warehoused under appalling conditions. And lower-class children have no rights or protection - they are used and abused, disappear daily, are tossed like trash when they've served their purpose.

An understaffed police force struggles under a staggering case load - they can barely get to the routine crimes, much less solve the murders that constantly occur. And they are in disgrace with the public after no success in finding Jack the Ripper. Forensics at this time are primitive, to put it kindly.

The author adroitly handles several plot lines: a new killer is targeting police officers; a child has been kidnapped and forced by his unstable new "father" to replace a lost son; full-bearded men have their throats slit and are found clean-shaven.

The officers who will undoubtedly be the lead characters in subsequent books in the series are often flawed, but always sympathetic. One is a newlywed who sometimes longs for the clear air of his home in Devon. Another is a scrapper who fought to leave the mines where he worked as a child. A forward-thinking medical examiner adds interest, especially when he begins experimenting with an early form of fingerprinting.

Surprisingly, in all this grubby reality are some unexpected flashes of humor. I actually found myself laughing out loud at the welcome comic relief. However, these moments are few and far between, and the reader is soon immersed once again in the scary, overcrowded London of the 1800s. I look forward to the next in this fine series.

posted by emmi331 on June 10, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

11 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

Roleplayers

Bn, can you please do something with these kids that use the nook as a game room for these silly cat games? 2/3sof the posts on here dont even relate to the book and should be removed and the posters banned from posting. Thhese kids need to learn that the nook review se...
Bn, can you please do something with these kids that use the nook as a game room for these silly cat games? 2/3sof the posts on here dont even relate to the book and should be removed and the posters banned from posting. Thhese kids need to learn that the nook review section is fir leaving reviees about the book in question, not to play cat games, chat or play sex games.

posted by 8888649 on May 18, 2014

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  • Posted June 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Any notion of Victorian England as a place of sweetness and ligh

    Any notion of Victorian England as a place of sweetness and light will be quickly disspelled by Alex Grecian's new book, whose grim descriptions of 19th-century London are more Dickens than Austin. Most of the city is filthy. Life is cheap among the masses of the poor. Cutthroats mingle with pickpockets, prostitutes, and thieves. The dead are thrown into charnel houses. The indigent and mentally ill are warehoused under appalling conditions. And lower-class children have no rights or protection - they are used and abused, disappear daily, are tossed like trash when they've served their purpose.

    An understaffed police force struggles under a staggering case load - they can barely get to the routine crimes, much less solve the murders that constantly occur. And they are in disgrace with the public after no success in finding Jack the Ripper. Forensics at this time are primitive, to put it kindly.

    The author adroitly handles several plot lines: a new killer is targeting police officers; a child has been kidnapped and forced by his unstable new "father" to replace a lost son; full-bearded men have their throats slit and are found clean-shaven.

    The officers who will undoubtedly be the lead characters in subsequent books in the series are often flawed, but always sympathetic. One is a newlywed who sometimes longs for the clear air of his home in Devon. Another is a scrapper who fought to leave the mines where he worked as a child. A forward-thinking medical examiner adds interest, especially when he begins experimenting with an early form of fingerprinting.

    Surprisingly, in all this grubby reality are some unexpected flashes of humor. I actually found myself laughing out loud at the welcome comic relief. However, these moments are few and far between, and the reader is soon immersed once again in the scary, overcrowded London of the 1800s. I look forward to the next in this fine series.

    30 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2012

    I can't wait to read more novels by Alex Grecian!!! I could not

    I can't wait to read more novels by Alex Grecian!!! I could not put this book down. I truly loved the characters. The book had a bit of historical accuracy thrown in, specifically the advent of fingerprint comparison, and Henry Faulds. I am a Crime Scene Investigtor and Fingerprint examiner and enjoyed that Grecian chose to add these types of details into his novel. I would recommend this to anyone and everyone!!

    15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Great debut!

    The Yard is Alex Grecian's debut novel. And this reader has put him firmly on her 'must read' list.

    London, England 1889 -the year after Jack's infamous rampage. After the Metropolitan Police failed to solve that case, a 'Murder Squad' was formed within Scotland Yard. It consists of only twelve detectives who cannot begin to solve each and every one of the hundred murders being perpetrated each month. It is Inspector Walter Day's first week on the job when one of their own is found murdered in a particularly grisly manner. Determined to prove himself and seek justice for his fallen comrade, Day dives into the case with both feet."

    "The new inspector, Day, appeared to be up to the job, but Kett knew little about the man. There was an innocence about him that bothered Kett. He had seen idealistic men come and go, the city leeching hope from them too quickly."

    I was hooked from the opening line...."Nobody noticed when Inspector Christian Little of Scotland Yard disappeared, and nobody was looking for him when he was found."

    This is a time period I absolutely love and Grecian does a good job bringing the setting to life with lots of atmospheric detail. The plot is multi faceted with more than just the primary case being investigated. Although we know the identity of the perpetrator about halfway through, it didn't detract from the story at all.

    But it was the characters that were a stand out for me. Grecian has fleshed them out nicely, providing 'interludes' where we learn some of their past. Day is a very likable character, struggling with being in the 'big city'. I quite enjoyed his wife Claire and see her playing a bigger part in the future. Constable Hammersmith is also a character I was drawn to. He's a little more down and dirty than Day, willing to bend the law a wee bit in the name of justice. But the most engrossing was Dr. Bernard Kingsley. He works an unpaid consultant to the Yard, firmly believing that the science he is pursuing will change the face of policing in the future. It was great fun to see the advent of forensics in fingerprinting and evidence collecting. Kingsley is a bit of an enigma as is his daughter Fiona.

    Grecian has gathered an eclectic, fascinating group of characters, set them down in an intriguing time and place and tied it all together with an ingenious plot. I truly hope this is the beginning of a series - I quite enjoyed The Yard and will definitely pick up the next book by this author.

    14 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2012

    When I review a book I don't go into all the details of plot sum

    When I review a book I don't go into all the details of plot summary. People can read the above overview to get those details. What I do like to do is give a few reasons as to why I liked or didn't like the book. Having said that, this was an absolute marvel of a debut novel. If you enjoy historical fiction, particularly those set in Victorian London, then you'll enjoy The Yard. (It's right up there with The Alienist by Caleb Carr; if you haven't read that one you should.) The historical details and aspects were spot on. Made me feel as if I were walking the foggy streets of Victorian London. The characters, both the protagonists and antagonists, were both intriguing and interesting. Also, I liked the fact that the reader knew who the killer(s) was pretty early on in the book, but you still didn't know how the police were going to apprehend the killer(s). That is where the reader is treated to a marvelous display of police procedures & detective work at its best. Why didn't I rate it 5 stars? I only reserve that rating for the absolute best, and this one fell just a little short of that rare rating. Buy it, read it and enjoy!

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2014

    Roleplayers

    Bn, can you please do something with these kids that use the nook as a game room for these silly cat games? 2/3sof the posts on here dont even relate to the book and should be removed and the posters banned from posting. Thhese kids need to learn that the nook review section is fir leaving reviees about the book in question, not to play cat games, chat or play sex games.

    11 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2012

    Great book!

    I really enjoyed reading this book. Can't wait for books 2 & 3. Keep up the good work Alex! Leslie White

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2012

    Fantastic!

    This was an incredibly suspenseful book and I had a difficult time setting it down once I began reading. The characters are rich and enjoyable to read. I really liked how the author was able to weave different narratives together in a way that kept the tension up and didn't leave me confused. If you are a fan of murder mysteries you must read this!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2013

    What the hell

    Why are there so many weirdos on here and whst the hell are you talking about? Can people please just review the damn book

    5 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2012

    Wonderful book. I can't wait for the next one in the series. I

    Wonderful book. I can't wait for the next one in the series. I have read enough books that "sugar coat" real life and I am tired of them. Grecian relates more historically acurate details which I appreciated. This is a great timeline to show how far we have come in the methods of solving crimes and I was so intrigued that I read the book in three days. Keep up the good work.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2012

    What a good book!!!! I didn't realize that this was the author'

    What a good book!!!! I didn't realize that this was the author's first novel because it is written so well. I could see and know all the characters in my mind's eye. So many interesting stories going on all at once and a great way to see London in the Victorian days. I had no idea how dirty and dangerous London was and how poorly children were allowed to be treated. I hope that Mr. Grecian continues to write about Scotland Yard - or anything for that matter! Great first novel - I couldn't put it down!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2014

    Cat people, go home

    B&N needs to delete the garbage posts. How hard is that?

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Pardon me for a moment, I am recovering from a massive bookgasm.

    Pardon me for a moment, I am recovering from a massive bookgasm. What was the cause of this bookgasm? Alex Grecian’s The Yard. Now you may be saying “Is it THAT good?” No…..it is better than that.
    The Yard tells the story of the murder squad formed at Scotland Yard during the time of Jack The Ripper. Okay, you had my attention at Jack The Ripper, you cemented it with the Victorian setting. (Ever since I discovered “Sherlock Holmes” when I was ten years old, I have been a sucker for anything set during this time period).
    The scary part of this book is not the murders committed, and there are several and they are gruesome. No, the scary part is the detail in the book. I could smell the streets and taste the grit in the air. It is so well researched that even the tiniest detail is not overlooked, but make no mistake, it is not boring.
    Please, come meet Hammersmith, Day, Blacker, Sir Edward, Blackleg, Fenn, Kingsley, Pringle, the Mayhew Brothers and more. They will become a part of you, and you will want to jump into the next book.
    Quite simply, this is the BEST book I have read this year. It is the kind of book that you want to see made into a series. Not a movie, but a television series so it lasts longer.
    Please Mr. Grecian, give us more!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2012

    Dreadful, full of ridiculous anachronisms and 21st century buzz

    Dreadful, full of ridiculous anachronisms and 21st century buzz words.
    Even worse are the jarring Americanisms in a story supposedly set in
    Victorian London. Even now, when movies and television expose us to
    other cultures and languages and linguistic borders are more fluid,
    there are no brownstones or stoops in London, they're called terraces
    and front steps. Victorian ladies did not invite complete strangers to
    address them by their first names either. The characters are two
    dimensional at best, and I only finished the book to see if it had any
    redeeming features at all. It doesn't.

    3 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2012

    Great read

    Fascinating look at the beginnings of modern crime investigation. Believeable characters. Well written. A must read for anyone who enjoys murder mysteries.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2014

    80 reviews flagged as off topic

    Eighty reviews off topic.
    Kilndle has this problem under control. I never have to sift thru so much crape. I wish this didn't happen on nook.

    I did purchase and will review at a later date.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 24, 2012

    It was okay, but I doubt that I'll read any more from this autho

    It was okay, but I doubt that I'll read any more from this author. The anachronisms bothered me, and I figured out who the killer was fairly early on.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2012

    Enjoyable read. The plot thickens, and thickens. The character

    Enjoyable read. The plot thickens, and thickens. The characters are imaginably real, and likable--even the bad guys. Well written--for the enjoyment of the readers.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2012

    Excellent

    See above well paced.very well written story.hope to see
    more from this up and comer. Give The Yard a shot you
    Won't regret it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2012

    This authors debut novel is a home run for him.I am a sucker for

    This authors debut novel is a home run for him.I am a sucker for all things of Victorian England if they are realistic and believe me this book was authentic. The characters were well developed,each one had a different history. The police squad is led by Sir Edward Bradford and Detective Inspector Walter Day with help from Mr. Hammersmith and Inspector Blacker along with eight other constables, this squad is called the Murder Squad.Inspector Day's first case is the murder of Inspector Little and during the investigation another constable is killed with four other men. The murders are thought to be the work of the same man but with the help of Dr.Bernard Kingsley they find that may not be the case. The storyline is fast moving and riveting, I did not want to put it down. I can not wait for this authors next book. Bravo!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2014

    Thrilling!

    Great in detail, and mystery - a must read for anyone who's searching for a page-turner.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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