The Yard – Alex Grecian

In the aftermath of Scotland Yard’s failure to check Jack the Ripper, new murders and heinous crimes are piling up on the desks of the twelve detectives in the Murder Squad. New-comer Day is given the case regarding the murder of one of their own, stabbed to death and stuffed in a suitcase, and from that point a kaleidoscope of fascinating stories spring. “The Yard” is an action-packed Victorian crime novel that at the same time excels with its magnificent characters. Every character in “The Yard” is complete with a believable backstory.

Alex Grecian shows his forte in the many changes in point of view and back flashes. Normally, alarm signals flare at the continuous back and forth, but Alex Grecian does not just make it work, he has created a fast-paced story around it. I especially like the scenes at the workhouse, where the same sequence of events is related from two different points of view in subsequent chapters.

In many novels that take place in the Victorian era, the characters and story seems divided between the highest classes and the lowest. Alex Grecian’s view of Victorian London is more diversified. An interesting observation is made by Blackleg, lowlife career criminal, who visits the home of a constable or bluebottle and he kindly leaves real tea instead of so-called renewed tea. The detail and historical accuracy is simply amazing.

The Yard” stands in stark contrast to many murder/crime novels in that it does just deal with one defined case with subplots of course. Reading “The Yard”, the insurmountable task of the Murder Squad is evident and the dawn of criminology is only just visible in the horizon.

Recommending “The Yard” is easy: everybody should read it, whether they are interested in an excellent story, great historical fiction, or action-packed crime story. If you are not convinced, see the trailer, which sets the mood.

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