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The Yard (The Murder Squad #1)
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The Yard (The Murder Squad #1)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  6,017 ratings  ·  1,119 reviews
Victorian London is a cesspool of crime, and ScotlandYard 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 suffersrampant public contempt. They have failed their citizens. Butno one can anticipate the brutal murder of o...more
Hardcover, 422 pages
Published May 29th 2012 by Putnam Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan DoyleThe Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. KingSilent in the Grave by Deanna RaybournThe Yard by Alex GrecianWhat Angels Fear by C.S. Harris
Victorian and Regency Mystery Novels
3rd out of 172 books — 70 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
211th out of 983 books — 2,401 voters

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Community Reviews

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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
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...more
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...more
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
John Williams
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...more
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...more
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...more
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
Nikki  Peterson
Jul 01, 2012 Nikki Peterson rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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...more
Aug 24, 2012 Eric rated it 1 of 5 stars
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...more
Sue Smith
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...more
Ed Williams
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul Pessolano
“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...more
Luanne Ollivier
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...more
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.
Jo Anne B
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
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....more
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.

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...more
Have you ever stood beside the checkout counter and randomly perused the stacks of books waiting to be checked back in only to come across a title or cover that looks very interesting so you just have to pick it up to look at it? This book was one such case but I generally put them back down after a quick note to myself to remember to check it out later, which I rarely do. This one however just screamed at me to take it home so I had them check it in for me to add to my never ending TBR pile. Vi...more
Carolyn F.
Library book club.

Hmm, not a very good book. Some of the scenes were just completely unbelievable and the dialogue (even though in the acknowledgement he says he had help from people in GB) wasn't good either. One scene where a recent widow only hours after her husband was murdered asks a detective if he (view spoiler) made we say out loud, "What the fudge!" And then la...more
Allizabeth Collins

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 k...more
The Yard
Alex Grecian


A fast paced period piece and mystery that takes place at the time of Jack The Ripper. It's the early days of forensics and police work. A killer is at large... mostly killing the police. But as the story evolves a number of crimes unfold...all of them terrifying...all of them fascinating.

My thoughts...

This book literally swept me away. It was easy to get lost in this sprawling adventure.
Until I spent time reading this book I did not really think about the horrors...more
I can only hope that this is the first book in an ongoing series. It's 1889, the Jack the Ripper murders have not been solved, and crime is out of control in London. In a month's time, 96 bodies have been pulled out of the Thames and the majority of those poor souls have had their throats cut. In response to this dismal situation, Scotland Yard has created a group of men called "The Murder Squad". Unfortunately, there are only 12 detectives assigned to investigate and solve all outstanding homic...more
I received this audiobook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own.

The Yard takes place in the Victorian era and features the men of London's Scotland Yard who have been assigned to work on a special task force to investigate murders, which was established following the Jack the Ripper cases. The story opens with an officer found slain. In the following chapter, we find out who the perpetrato...more
Mandi Glover
This is the second book I’ve recently read in which the plot carries the dubious prose. Usually can’t be bothered carrying on with novels like that (which is why I never finished the Da Vinci Code), so it’s an odd coincidence to have met two at once.
Grecian’s research was obviously very thorough, and the book offers plenty of accurate period detail. A sticker on the cover of my copy likens it to Ripper Street, and this is certainly true of its rich conjuring of the Victorian Zeitgeist. Although...more
The Yard is a gritty murder based in the late 1800’s, shortly after Jack the Ripper terrorized Whitechapel. The police are faced with a brutal murder of one of their own... an officer is found stuffed in a trunk at the train station. A new detective Walter Day and his partner Hammersmith are assigned to solve the murder. They get assistance from Dr. Kingsley, who seems to be one of the first with a new ground breaking investigational science… which we now call police forensics.

This period writt...more
I really enjoyed The Yard, the first entry into a new mystery series, Murder Squad. The setting is Victorian England just after the Jack the Ripper murders. Unlike traditional mysteries the bad guys are laid out in the onset of the novel. The fun is in watching the cat and mouse game go down between the members of the Murder Squad and their prey.

What really set this novel apart for me was how likeable the Murder Squad was. Some of the standouts include Colonel Sir Edward Bradford who invents a p...more
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Boston Bookworms: Discuss: The Yard 1 4 Jul 30, 2014 02:24PM  
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Alex is the author of the national bestselling historical thrillers about Scotland Yard's Murder Squad: THE YARD, THE BLACK COUNTRY, and THE DEVIL'S WORKSHOP, plus the original Murder Squad ebook, THE BLUE GIRL. He is hard at work on the fourth book in the series, titled THE HARVEST MAN.

He also created the long-running and critically acclaimed graphic novel series PROOF, which NPR named one of the...more
More about Alex Grecian...
The Black Country (The Murder Squad #2) The Devil's Workshop (The Murder Squad, #3) Goatsucker (Proof, #1) The Blue Girl (Murder Squad, #2.5) The Company Of Men (Proof, #2)

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