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The Yard by Alex Grecian

The Yard (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Alex Grecian

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8419310,711 (3.75)104
Title:The Yard
Authors:Alex Grecian
Info:Putnam Adult (2012), Edition: First Edition first Printing, Hardcover, 432 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Yard by Alex Grecian (2012)

  1. 10
    The Alienist by Caleb Carr (majkia)
    majkia: similar in that both books - although one in New York, one in London - follow the beginnings of modern forensics and modern policing.
  2. 00
    The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye (InvisiblerMan)
  3. 00
    In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff (4leschats)
    4leschats: Both of these works deal with the emerging science of forensics to solve difficult cases.

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» See also 104 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
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 must investigate the death of one of their own detectives. Not only that, but they must work out if this is a random murder or if it is an attack on the newly formed Murder Squad themselves.

Sir Edward, Inspector Day, Constable Hammersmith and Dr. Kingsley are great characters with appealing personalities and I understand the author baseiid many of them on real people. I also thought the secondary characters were realistic and compelling, especially Dr. Kingsley's daughter, Fiona, who draws the autopsy photos for her father.

The London atmosphere, which is an integral part of a good Victorian mystery, was missing and the characters often used some American slang which didn't make sense in the context of a Victorian London setting. I did enjoy it well enough to to pick up the second of the series, Black Country. It has a lot of potential and I hope the author continues to develop his characters and make the setting more atmospheric. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Sep 3, 2016 |
This book draws you in on the 1st page. It is interesting as this is the year after the Ripper murders and the Ripper has affected how crime is investigated as well as the pressure the police are under by the public. There are 2 serial killers in London and it is not the Ripper. I read the last 255 pages in one sitting,it was a page turner.Even the parts that are not page turners,keep you interested. I was not going to bed until this book was finished.This is the author's first nvoel and it is well done, excellent character development and his knowledge of London and landmarks is incredible! This was intense, a nail biter. Excellent! A MUST READ
I loved the "dancing man". ( )
  LauGal | Aug 16, 2016 |
After reading some of the reviews on this book I was a little worried that I might not enjoy it but I was pleasantly surprised. It was very well written and I think captures the essence of the late 1800's London. It really makes me glad that I didn't live back then. All the people dying of consumption, people thrown into workhouses, parents dying and kids turning into street urchins and being snatched to do dangerous jobs. It's a good read, fast paced and enjoyable. I would recommend it. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 10, 2016 |
An excellent Victorian suspense novel, featuring the very early days of forensic detection at Scotland Yard. It's a page turner, with great characters and fine period detail, although at times it felt just a bit too "modern" in a way I can't quite put my finger on. Very enjoyable, nonetheless.
Reviewed in June 2013 ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | Jun 9, 2016 |
The Yard is Alex Grecian's debut novel. Unlike many Victorian Scotland Yard crime stories, this one is neither a thriller nor a mystery; however, it has elements of suspense and the author knows how to hold the readers' attention and interest from beginning to end.

The Yard is a historical crime fiction with vivid scenes, interesting characters and an atmosphere that reaches the senses and places readers' firmly in grimy 1889 East London where electricity and water closets were in their infancy. Women still wore their laced corsets, carriages were drawn by horses and police resources,and communications and transportation were limited by the historical setting.

Just when the last thing Scotland Yard needs is more killings that could panic the city, a gruesome discovery is made at the train station. Solving the crime becomes the squad's first priority, and Inspector Walter Day, newly arrived in London from Devon, is appointed as the lead investigator.

Inspector Day will work with the young, eager and relentlessly hardworking Constable Hammersmith, and the first forensic pathologist in England, Dr. Bernard Kingsley. These three, together with other members of the Murder Squad, juggle the murder case with several other cases, including one involving a bizarre series of throat-cuttings.

The officers who will undoubtedly be the lead characters in subsequent books in the series are often flawed, but always sympathetic. One is a newlywed who sometimes longs for the clear air of his home in Devon. Another is a scrapper who fought to leave the mines where he worked as a child. A forward-thinking medical examiner adds interest, especially when he begins experimenting with an early form of fingerprinting.

Surprisingly, in all this grubby reality are some unexpected flashes of humor. I actually found myself laughing out loud at the welcome comic relief. However, these moments are few and far between, and the reader is soon immersed once again in the scary, overcrowded London of the 1800s. I look forward to the next in this series. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
Readers who enter The Yard’s world-on-the-edge-of-change will be counting days until the sequel, hoping to meet some of these great characters again.

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alex Grecianprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cavanaugh, MeighanBook designsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wood, SaraJacket designsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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If you wake at midnight, and hear a horse's feet,
Don't go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street.
Them that asks no questions isn't told a lie.
Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!

- Rudyard Kipling, "A Smuggler's Song"
For Charity,
who will inspect this dedication
for plot holes.
First words
London, 1889. Nobody noticed when Inspector Christian Little of Scotland Yard disappeared, and nobody was looking for him when he was found.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Book description
Victorian London is a cesspool of crime, and Scotland Yard has only 12 detectives - known as “The Murder Squad” - to investigate thousands of murders every month. Created after the Metropolitan Police’s spectacular failure to capture Jack the Ripper, The Murder Squad suffers rampant public contempt. They have failed their citizens. But no one can anticipate the brutal murder of one of their own... one of the 12....
When Walter Day, the squad’s newest hire, is assigned the case of the murdered detective, he finds a strange ally in the Yard’s first forensic pathologist, Dr. Bernard Kingsley. Together they track the killer, who clearly is not finished with The Murder Squad.... but why?
Filled with fascinating period detail, and real historical figures, this spectacular debut in a new series showcases the depravity of late Victorian London, the advent of criminology, and introduces a stunning new cast of characters sure to appeal to fans of The Sherlockian and The Alienist.
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Suffering public contempt after the Metropolitan Police's failure to capture Jack the Ripper, Walter Day, a member of Victorian London's recently formed "Murder Squad," partners with Scotland Yard's first forensic pathologist to track down a killer who is targeting their colleagues.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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