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

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

4.1 147
by Alex Grecian

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1889, LONDON.

Victorian London—a violent cesspool of squalid depravity. Only twelve detectives—The Murder Squad—are expected to solve the thousands of crimes committed here each month. Formed after the Metropolitan Police’s spectacular failure in

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The Yard 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 147 reviews.
emmi331 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!
Todd_P More than 1 year ago
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!
Twink More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Duffy52 More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. Can't wait for books 2 & 3. Keep up the good work Alex! Leslie White
insanepoet65 More than 1 year ago
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!
WriteReason More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fascinating look at the beginnings of modern crime investigation. Believeable characters. Well written. A must read for anyone who enjoys murder mysteries.
druidgirl More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great in detail, and mystery - a must read for anyone who's searching for a page-turner.
ozzieCW More than 1 year ago
Great mysytery, done in Victorian England. Love the characters. Kept me engrossed until the end. I am now on his second The black country
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the characters and taste of another time and place!
Mysterylover1138 More than 1 year ago
absolutely loved this book. must read for any mystery lover who is into historical fiction and who loves a good murder
LAB54 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous 18 days ago
PainFrame More than 1 year ago
A more harmless specimen I’ve never laid eyes on. Now this is a good idea. Set in Victorian London, this book tells the tale of the Scotland Yard police force, after the disgrace of not catching Jack the Ripper. What follows is an intriguing police procedural, set at the dawn of forensic investigation. I was amazed at the very crude and rudimentary way in which crimes were once investigated, not to mention the shocking number of daily murders in 1889! A very solid and fascinating take on a murder mystery. Not to be missed for fans of gripping historical fiction, or those wondering what a more realistic Sherlock Holmes might be like.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Nobody noticed when Inspector Christian Little of Scotland Yard disappeared, and nobody was looking for him when he was found." I was hooked from the start of The Yard. Alex Grecian did a good job of keeping the plot moving by jumping from perspective to perspective. I loved the addition of the killer’s POV, at least in the beginning. The inclusion of Dr. Kingsley was a nice attempt at dating the work and I enjoyed the discovery of forensic techniques, like fingerprint analysis. However, there were a few issues that kept me from rating this higher. I felt that the killer’s identity was revealed way too soon in the narrative. The perspective of the killer in the beginning of the book was interesting, when his identity was unknown. Once the killer’s identity was revealed, it felt like the Inspectors were being a little dense by not suspecting him. They were looking for a person in the killer’s line of work and he kept hanging around offering to help. The author never manages to fully capture Victorian London. The dialogue was oddly modern and London was so poorly described, but for a few exceptions, the entire book could have taken place in modern day America. I think with a little more effort put into editing some aspects of the writing, I would have rated this 4 ½ stars. As it is, I gave it 3 ½ stars and look forward to the next book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great story by a great author. Story takes you into turn of the century London and you get alook at what it was like to live and for some, to dead..Nice charactors you get to care about.Love the way all the subplots come together to make for one interesting story. On to the authors next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago