The Yard

by Alex Grecian | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 0399149546 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 12/17/2014
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, December 17, 2014
I found this good-condition hardcover on the charity-sale shelves at a local Hannaford's, and nabbed it for another release copy. It's about the Murder Squad, detectives assigned to investigate crimes in Victorian London.

I enjoyed this story, though as I read I kept wondering which historical figures had inspired some of the main characters - and was disappointed to find that this book does not include any notes from the author about this. I did find comments on line, though, clarifying that there were indeed many historical inspirations, though the author has tweaked the real-world timelines and characteristics for the sake of the story.

The story itself is pretty lively, switching between character viewpoints to heighten the suspense, and eventually weaving several different crimes and storylines together. True, at times it seemed too convenient a coincidence to have characters from subplot B turn up just in time to foil the evil intentions of characters from subplot C, but all in all I didn't mind that too much!

I did find myself wondering how Constable Hammersmith - who's described as being so intent on his work that he seldom sleeps and rarely even changes clothes - managed to avoid being jailed as a vagrant, since he stumbles, bloody, bruised, and hollow-eyed, through the action while wearing increasingly blood-stained and worn clothing {wry grin}. I did like the character, but imagining how those garments must feel - and smell - after all that time rather put me off. (The author does mention the occasional reek, but tends to emphasize that in the case of a street person who may never have washed in his life over that of the good-guy policeman who's only skipped a few days' worth. However, I imagine that a few days of heavy labor in a wool uniform in grimy, gritty London would make a man pretty darned ripe.)

Oh, the story! Well, we have newly-appointed detective Day trying to fit in at the Yard, while his young wife struggles to learn how to keep house under the malignant eye of the landlady; constable Hammersmith, the intense young man who still has nightmares about his youth in the coal mines; and a killer who's left the body of one of the Yard's own men wedged inside a trunk. The hunt for a cop-killer trumps all other crimes - but Hammersmith has stumbled across a dead 5-year-old boy in a chimney, and vows to find out who sent him up there and then, once the child was stuck, left him to die an awful death...

We have kindly coroner Dr. Kingsley, who labors to respect the dead while disassembling them for evidence. There are comments about the all-too-recent Jack the Ripper killings - and there's a character who claims to be one of his early victims, who survived the slashing with massive scars and a yearning for vengeance against bearded men. And there's clannishness and prejudice inside the detective division as well.

All in all, I enjoyed the story, and would read more books in this series.

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, May 01, 2015

Released 3 yrs ago (5/2/2015 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA


I'm adding this to the A-to-Z bookbox, which will be on its way to its next stop soon.

Letter: Y

Journal Entry 3 by wingheartthumperwing at Hutchinson, Kansas USA on Thursday, May 14, 2015

Chosen from the A-Z Book Box. The Letter "Y".

Journal Entry 4 by wingheartthumperwing at Hutchinson, Kansas USA on Monday, January 08, 2018
What a great book! Kept me on the edge of my seat. Sure were a lot of people getting stabbed! I would also love to read more in this series or by this author. Looking for a new reader.

Journal Entry 5 by wingheartthumperwing at Petersfield, Hampshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Released 1 yr ago (1/11/2018 UTC) at Petersfield, Hampshire United Kingdom


Off to Trojanhorse. Found on her wishlist right after I finished it. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 6 by wingTrojanhorsewing at Petersfield, Hampshire United Kingdom on Saturday, January 20, 2018
Thank you heartthumper for sending me this wish list book. I love Victorian Murder mysteries and can't wait to see what Alex Grecian has to offer.

Journal Entry 7 by wingTrojanhorsewing at Thame, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 29, 2018
I took this book on holiday with me to finish it.
I've read a few detective novels set in Victorian London and this one certainly conjured up the atmosphere of that era. As far as the murders went I actually found this to be a difficult book to enjoy. I did feel that this first novel was overcrowded with cases (although I guess the whole point was that the Murder Squad were up to their eyes in it!) and it was uncomfortably descriptive in places. However, it has set the characters up nicely for future stories and there are certainly some likeable rogues amongst them.
Now to plan for this book's future travels...

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