The Yard takes place in London just after the Ripper has stopped killing and Jack was never found. The opening line “Nobody noticed when Inspector Christian Little of Scotland Yard disappeared, and nobody was looking for him when he was found,” fits for the time period and sets the scene. Alex Grecian captures the loneliness and messiness of Victorian London perfectly from the beginning to the end. The underbelly of London, where danger lurks around every corner, is where Little’s murderer should be found, and DI Walter Day has to search through the refuse to try to find a killer.
I really enjoyed this novel for two reasons. The first being that this was a captivating crime story where the reader knows more than the detectives. Grecian uses this to heighten the fear and anxiety surrounding the detectives and other characters every time they encounter each of the criminals. The fact that there were so many criminals and crimes happening concurrently made the story breeze by. You just never knew who was going to kill next and if it would be a strangely justified murder or if an innocent would be hurt.
The second reason for loving this novel are all the period details that Grecian includes. The fear the prostitutes have (remember Jack the Ripper was never caught) and the way they prevent further crimes against them while exacting their revenge against bearded Johns. Or when the detectives have to dive into a work house and the horrors that they encounter were a real part of Victorian London, not in a pretty carriage ride kind of historical story. Also, Grecian details the beginning of Forensics science with Dr Bernard Kingsley’s fingerprinting and new morgue.
Overall this was a great read for both the crime story and historical details.
Read March 2015