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

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,194 Ratings  ·  1,492 Reviews
Victorian London is a cesspool of crime, and Scotland Yard has only twelve detectives—known as “The Murder Squad”—to investigate countless murders every month. Created after the Metropolitan Police’s spectacularfailure to capture Jack the Ripper, The Murder Squad suffers rampant public contempt. They have failed their citizens. Butno one can anticipate the brutal murder of ...more
Hardcover, 422 pages
Published May 29th 2012 by Putnam Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Silent in the Grave by Deanna RaybournWhat Angels Fear by C.S. HarrisThe Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan DoyleThe Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. KingThe Yard by Alex Grecian
Victorian and Regency Mystery Novels
5th out of 189 books — 106 voters
The Name of the Rose by Umberto EcoThe Alienist by Caleb CarrThe Historian by Elizabeth KostovaThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónMistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Best Historical Mystery
149th out of 1,308 books — 3,371 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Richard Derus
Apr 30, 2013 Richard Derus rated it did not like it
Pearl Ruled: THE YARD by Alex Grecian (p67)

This is its star:

I started getting annoyed when, at the beginning of chapter 2, Colonel Sir Edward Bradford, Commissioner of Scotland Yard, calls the sleuth into his mahogany-lined office and proceeds to make no sense at all for several pages. The sleuth is confused, too, and there appears to be no reason we-the-readers should give the ass of a rat about this little tete-a-tete.

Then came the who-cares italicized narration of the bald man, who killed the
Nov 14, 2014 Jenny rated it did not like it
I have just finished reading a book called The Yard by Alex Grecian. It's set in London in 1889 and is a novel about the early days of the Murder Squad. Read it only for the hilarity of the wrongness of half his descriptions and his totally tin ear for period dialogue. People use such phrases as "no worries", "I'm right on it", "he's heading up the investigation" and "where was the beat cop?" and refer to a landlord in a pub as a 'barkeep'. In the first 125 pages alone we have a small boy in Wal ...more
Aug 17, 2012 Lou rated it it was amazing
Find yourself transported to the Victorian streets of London post-Jack the Ripper days.
The author successfully places you in the atmosphere of that time, the streets of London paved with gaslights and Hansom cabs as modes of transport, in the dark bleak workhouses and the most importantly the Yard, great Scotland yard, located at Whitehall place and their morgue in the beginnings of forensic pathology during an era when C.S.I and DNA detection was virtually unheard of.

The Victorian London era ma
John Williams
May 10, 2013 John Williams rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I run a book club and we read a lot of books over the course of a year and we have been going for about five years, During this time I have only thrown one book across the room in disgust, this will be my second.

Having had the book suggested at the club with no background knowledge or being a previously author I had no expectations, just as well really because the story met these expectations within the first few pages!

To call the novel the banal meanderings of a unsophisticated mind might give
Oct 05, 2014 happy rated it liked it
This novel had an interesting premise, but somehow doesn’t quite hit the mark. It feels like a first novel and all that that implies. It is uneven, some of the research is suspect and they dialogue is not quite period. Also, the main killer is revealed quite early in the novel so it is not really a mystery more of a procedural/thriller. That said, I found the characters interesting and they kept me reading to find out how they solve the murders.

Set in the year following the Ripper Murders in Lon
If some Hollywood producer decided to create a new television cop series set in 1870s London, all he or she needs is this book and the whole first season's worth of scripts are taken care of. There is one major story line: the savage killing of a Scotland Yard inspector whose eyes and lips have been sewn shut and whose body has been stuffed into a too-small trunk. All of the Yard's resources will go toward hunting down the killer. There are several minor storylines, including someone slitting th ...more
Jun 08, 2012 Tony rated it liked it
THE YARD. (2012). Alex Grecian. ***.
About one-quarter of the way through this debut thriller, I wondered why I was reading it. As I reached the half-way point, I was still wondering why. The answer was that the novel was plot propelled and serially imagined so that you always wanted to know what would happen next. It’s not great literature, but it’s a great thriller. It’s set in Victorian London, where the search for Jack the Ripper has essentially stopped by personnel at the yard and the level
Isn't it cool when you buy a book for 3 euros and you're close to ecstasy because it sounds damn good, and then you see the one star reviews. Loads of them. Saying it's boring, uninspiring and dull.
I have two problems with this:
1. Dull, boring books are, basically, my biggest fear. I can take frustrating books, superficial books, lame books, whatever - just lay it on me. But boring books, boring books just make me want to cry. For real. Because if I'm bored I'll try to avoid reading them, and th
Nikki  Peterson
Jul 01, 2012 Nikki Peterson rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any one that likes a historical novel
Recommended to Nikki by: My own self
I really enjoyed The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness and The Alienist by Caleb Carr, so I was really excited to read this, and it didn't disappoint. I don't think that I ever got bored with this book, there is always something going on. The characters were great, I almost felt like I knew them they were so well created and there are a few flash backs of the main characters to help show where they are coming from and why they react the way they do. Actually, everyone that is of importance, has ...more
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 murde ...more
Shelly Wright
The book is set in London, 1889 (a year after Jack the Ripper’s last incident). The characters include Scotland Yard detectives, a forensic science pioneer, a serial killer, two unhinged prostitutes, an abducted child, a dead child, Victorian womenfolk in all their helpless glory, and a few seedy chaps lurking of the fringes. The dialogue is weak, and the characters are pretty two-dimensional. Overcooked dramatic irony drips from the pages and the reader squirms with frustration when both the go ...more
Ed Williams
Apr 23, 2013 Ed Williams rated it did not like it
It appears the author limited his research to skimming Ken Follet to work up a sense of righteous indignation about conditions for children in late Victorian London before quickly checking the dates of the Ripper murders and starting writing. The descriptions are wrong (brownstones belong in New York), the language and attitudes are anachronistic ('No worries' and policemen worrying about street children), the central premise is fatally flawed (the Ripper could hardly have been the first serial ...more
Aug 24, 2012 Eric rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Can't do it...
Things I like:

- Sherlock Holmes
- Victorian London
- Detective yarns
- Forensic criminology

From looking at the list above, you would probably think I'd like this book -- and I thought so too! But...

Things I don't like:

- Falling asleep every time I open a book.

...when I tried to read it, I found I was making only three pages of progress a go before falling asleep, book in hand -- which almost never happens to a night-owl like me. Hence, why I didn't even finish this disjointed, uninspired tale of Sc
Aug 23, 2016 Olivermagnus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I like historical mysteries set in Victorian London so I was excited to pick up a copy of The Yard by Alex Grecian. After their failure to capture Jack the Ripper, faith in the Metropolitan Police Department reached its lowest point so Scotland Yard formed its own Murder Squad. The Squad is called into action when a man's body is found in a travel trunk at the train station. Chief of the Squad, Colonel Sir Edward Bradford and new detective Walter Day soon discover who the victim is and that they ...more

I'd had The Yard on my radar for quite some time before I actually sat down and read it (in one sitting it was that good!) In fact, I'd borrowed it 4 times from the library before and I always sent it back unread, saying that I'd get to it next time. Now I'm kicking myself in the pants for having not read it the first time around because I absolutely loved Alex Grecian's premier novel in the Murder Squad series.

This had everything I want to find in a historical mystery. I for one love histori
Sue Smith
Jul 20, 2012 Sue Smith rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It was not only a great change from some of the stuff I've been reading, it was a good story - well paced with an interesting story line.

Basically it follows a murder investigation in the newly operational murder squad of the Scotland Yard. It's a tense time, the period just after Jack the Ripper, where murder was rampant and no murderer is brought to justice for the horrendous crimes that were committed. The city is tense and vulnerable and the police are in a similar stat
Mallory Heart Reviews
A very engrossing novel of Victorian Scotland Yard in the wake of the failure to locate Jack the Ripper after his Whitechapel atrocities of 1888, or even to find clues to his identity, “The Yard” unwraps the tensions and characters of the “New Yard,” after Inspector March has retired. Detectives who are accustomed to working alone and at their own pace; one of the Murder Squad detectives who has simply given up and moved to the Midlands to be a shopkeeper; a new Commissioner; and suddenly, a bru ...more
Jul 23, 2014 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not my genre. I don't go in for books like this but it was recommended by my Aunt so I gave it a go. I'm so glad I did. What a great story, moves right along and you never really know exactly how things are connected. 5 stars I rarely give... but anyway, this one gets it for being a great read, interesting re: hx of forensics and most importantly for the final star - beautifully written. I'd recommended this to any one of my bookish friends and I rarely recommended.
Great book! The atmosphere of it's setting was very well done. And of course Jack the ripper...or is it...Hmmm??
If I was rating only the story, I'd give "The Yard" 4 stars, but the writing brings it down to only 3 stars because there are several problems with it.

The first, very irritating in the beginning, is the use of American vocabulary in a context of Victorian London. Is there such a thing as a "brownhouse" in London? I don't think I've seen one there! Why didn't Mr Grecian get some British people to proofread it before publication?

I think the book would have been improved with a lot more editing: i
It's been a while since I've read a straight-up murder mystery and I enjoyed every page of it.

There are 3 plots and 3 main characters, two cops and a doctor interested in forensic science, trying to solve the murder of a policeman in a frightened, post-Ripper world.
Failing to catch the Ripper, the London police has no trust or love from the general public, and accompanied by the general feeling of a fast-growing city, a rapidly changing world, and the feeling of their own deficiencies, the poli
Paul Pessolano
Aug 13, 2012 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it
“The Yard” by Alex Grecian, published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

Category – Mystery/Thriller

London in 1889 has seen the end of the reign of terror of Jack the Ripper, but London is still a city filled with problems. The populace is wary of its police force and their ability to control crime. They had failed to catch Jack the Ripper and the annual number of arrests in London for they year topped sixty thousand. In one month alone, ninety-six corpses were pulled from the Thames with half of them with
Luanne Ollivier
Jun 04, 2012 Luanne Ollivier rated it really liked it
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
Jo Anne B
Jul 01, 2012 Jo Anne B rated it liked it
This book seemed all over the place with several main characters. I feel no character was truly developed, therefore I was unable to form a connection or likeness to any of them. It felt like this was the first book of several to come in a series. So it was setting up each character so we could come across them in the next books. I liked the portrayl of the London circa 1889 after Jack the Ripper. We are introduced to the killer right away and here his internal monologue. He had potential but it ...more
Apr 23, 2013 Deanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hoping this will be the start of a very long series, stayed up til gone 1 finishing this off, lots of threads which gradually came together. Fascinating time, just after jack the Ripper, and set in London when the populace were still living in fear.
The story is fairly fast paced, and moves through the various characters giving multiple points of view. There's certain characters you expect to see, the detectives, the uniformed police, prostitutes, doctors, the criminal element and the well to-do.
Marie Sexton
Jun 22, 2015 Marie Sexton rated it it was ok
I found this to be a very tedious read. The first half kept me interested enough that I kept reading, but the last half... good lord, I just wanted it to be OVER so I could move on to something new. First of all, there is no mystery. The killer is revealed to the reader very early on. Sometimes that can work, but not here. The only tension comes from watching the blundering investigators chase their own tails, and it's an exercise in frustration. There are too many coincidences, too many plot po ...more
Jun 10, 2014 Chris rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Noran Miss Pumkin
Wanted to rate it 4 stars, but they just had to make sure all the plot-lines crossed and tied up together in the end. The chimney sweep subplot just did not make any sense at all. Less would have been much better with this read.
Oct 05, 2015 Kathy rated it really liked it
I really liked this book, which was recommended to me by my sister. It takes place in London, a year after the police fail to catch Jack the Ripper. Scotland Year has a separate group of detectives called the "Murder Squad." Their job is strictly murders. The book is about two main ones, someone is killing members of the Murder Squad, and someone else is killing gentleman sporting beards, shaving them and then slitting their throats. Newcomer Inspector Day is in charge of the squad. A Dr. Kingsl ...more
Aug 01, 2016 Tiffany rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned
Okay. Here's the thing. The overall plot and the mysteries? Pretty good. It's slow building up to a point where things get interesting, but it gets there.

The problem, though, is even though you care about finding out "whodunnit"? It's all so. Incredibly. Boring. The writing is very dry and the dialogue is especially terrible. It's all so impersonal, to the point where I don't actually buy that the married couple that's about to have a baby actually love each other. It feels like the author tried
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  • The Black Hand (Barker & Llewelyn, #5)
  • The Bedlam Detective (Sebastian Becker, #2)
  • The Solitary House
  • Seven for a Secret (Timothy Wilde Mysteries, #2)
  • Murder as a Fine Art (Thomas De Quincey, #1)
  • Secret of the White Rose (Simon Ziele, #3)
  • Instruments of Darkness (Crowther and Westerman, #1)
  • Letters From a Murderer (Finley Jameson & Joseph Argenti #1)
  • The Truth of All Things
  • A Beautiful Blue Death (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #1)
  • Veil of Lies (Crispin Guest, #1)
  • A Dissection of Murder (Dr Dody McCleland, #1)
  • The Frightened Man (Denton, #1)
  • When Maidens Mourn (Sebastian St. Cyr, #7)
Grecian is the author of several bestselling historical thrillers featuring Scotland Yard's Murder Squad: THE YARD, THE BLACK COUNTRY, THE DEVIL'S WORKSHOP, THE HARVEST MAN, and LOST AND GONE FOREVER, plus the original Murder Squad ebook, THE BLUE GIRL.

He also created the six-volume graphic novel series PROOF, and the two-part graphic novel RASPUTIN.

He currently lives in the American Midwest with
More about Alex Grecian...

Other Books in the Series

Scotland Yard's Murder Squad (5 books)
  • The Black Country (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad, #2)
  • The Devil's Workshop (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad, #3)
  • The Harvest Man (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad, #4)
  • Lost and Gone Forever (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad, #5)

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“Your duty is to society, and the dead have always been a part of society. How we treat the dead says much about us.” 5 likes
“It is more important to use your gifts well than to settle for being content.” 3 likes
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