Michele Weiner's Reviews > The Yard

The Yard by Alex Grecian
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's review
Jun 16, 2012

really liked it
Read in June, 2012

This police procedural is set in London just after Jack the Ripper made his name and disappeared. It is the story of the London murder police and the doctor who acts as medical examiner and forensic expert for free. The characters are engaging and real, and the plot is sufficiently complex to hold the reader's interest. I hope this becomes a series.

Walter Day has married above himself and moved to London to join Scotland Yard's newly-formed murder police. As the book opens, a fellow detective is killed and stuffed in a trunk. The constable on duty when the body is found, Nevil Hammersmith, displays a talent for detecting, and finds himself in a valuable part of the team investigating the crime. He is also by chance involved in two other mysteries simultaneously--a lesbian pair of prostitutes (one of whom has been an early victim of Jack and bears a grudge for the policemen who couldn't catch him) who murder bearded men, and a chimney sweep who buys little boys and allows them to die in his care. The murderers are known to the reader fairly early on, but the police, through a series of missed communications, don't catch on for some time. There is just enough suspense as Day and Hammersmith grapple with the killer of policemen while the charming detective Blacker deals with the brace of whores. Dr. Kingsley discovers fingerprints and uses them to guide the investigation while the new head of the Yard begins to reform its practices and upgrade its performance. There was a ton of historical color, describing the cruelty of London and the plight of the common man. Loved it.

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