This is really not a mystery. We know the murderer early on. The book is more about how long it takes the detectives to figure it out. The book introduces to three main characters who will probably appear in later books if this series continues. The characters are Insp. Day, Const. Hammersmith and Dr. Kingsley. Several interludes in the book give us the background of these characters.
The portrayal of Victorian England is rather haphazard. The conversations are full of 20th century slang, and the author seems to feel that decribing the scene is talking about Hansom Cabs and the smell. I honestly did not get a real feel for the period and I suspect the author doesn't understand it either. Whatever you may think of Anne Perry she certainly gets the period right and you feel as if you are in that period. This is not the case with this book.
The narrator is not a big help either. He is no Simon Prebble and his effort at unique voices falls flat at times. For me he made Dr. Kingsley sound like a twit. Although mostly he does an adequate but not an outstanding job.
The emphasis in this book is on the effort the detectives go through in tracking down a murderer who is right under their nose and how many clues they miss. Yet it is not a police procedural in the true sense of the word.
You make like the book as it tries to create a picture of the early Scotland Yard which seems reasonably accurate. However, I am not sure the detectives are typical of the Yard of that period.
Ths author could use a better editor. In places ths book just goes on way too long and a good editor would have helped enormously. For such a thin story, it is way too long.
Say something about yourself!
I really enjoyed this book with its well-written characters, glimpse into the beginnings of forensic science, interesting time period, and very entertaining story. The main characters were extremely likeable and unique. I haven't read or heard anything quite like this. It was a bit unnecessarily graphic at times. I would love to see a sequel.
Interesting, Intriguing, Enjoyable
Any Sherlock Holmes book, even if it differs in a positive way. There's no one uberhuman, but several characters who all bring their own thing to the story.
Mr Moore brings the characters to life. Plain and simple.
I no longer live in Worcester. I now live in Brooklyn, NY.
Very British, very slow at first. Stick with it....it is worth it! It is amazing how all the threads are woven together.......intriguing plot. I have been welded to my ear buds for the last 6 hours. The narrator was just right.
It's hard to believe this is a first novel! The story starts fast and doesn't slow down. It's a "mystery" true to the Victorian Scotland Yard genre, but it keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. That's pretty amazing since the reader knows "who done it" pretty much from the beginning. Usually a listener only while driving, I did more gardening and cooking just so that I would have a good excuse to strap on my iPhone and keep listening. Some reviewers complained of the slow reading by the narrator. I think that his performance was just fine! With the fast pace of the action, had he also rushed his reading, or been overly dramatic, I would have been worn out! I hope this isn't Alex Grecian's last tale.
Overall it was a good listen.
The story was great, different ending than you thought was coming.
The reader was alright, a little bit on the monotone side.
The ending was the best part.
It was written more in the line of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes style than in the modern way stories are told. If you liked the Sherlock Holmes books you'll most probably like this one.
love to read, love to listen
Probably not. It was a fun listen, but not my favorite mystery in the world. There were some loose ends I would have liked to have seen tied up. However, I would read more by the same author.
I liked Sgt. Hammersmith. He was a real hero.
Great performance. Really drew me in, even though there were a few weak points in the story.
Just the way Hammersmith was so dedicated to the work, especially as an advocate for children.
The treatment of this story in light of the murders by Jack the Ripper was a little weird. First, the author made a claim that the Ripper was the first of a whole new breed of killers. This is just not true. Second, there was some claim that police approached crime a bit differently in the aftermath of the Ripper. Was there a distinct "end" to the Ripper's crimes?
I live in a big house by the Baltic sea in Gävle, Sweden. I am married and have three teenagers and one dog. I read books, buy books and blog about books. If I don´t read I knit, sew or quilt.
I loved it, and can't wait for the next! An atmospheric and interesting crime story with many interesting and likable characters. Not the least interesting character - London in the victorian era.
The Yard gave me a different perspective on the atmosphere at Scotland Yard during 1888-1889. The camaraderie (or not) between the men working there and the building of a relationship with a new Commissioner was an excellent way to build a group of characters and added flavor to the scenes.
The narrator did a great job of distinguishing the myriad character voices, using different London and local accents as well as voices of different classes to distinguish them.
There is something that I haven't quite figured out that kept me from giving this 5 stars. I don't know whether it was the way in which the author went about telling the reader historical information that just didn't quite "fit" the storytelling. Or it is possible that there was a little too much gore for me (I generally avoid gory descriptions, which is not possible with an audio book!). But it was not gratuitous -- definitely a part of the story, since one of the major characters is what today would be called a medical examiner.
The way in which the story was laid out: Day One, Two and Three, plus "Interludes" (which were usually flashbacks or memories), was odd, and I think was one of the elements that kept me from being totally entranced with the story. I kept thinking that there must have been a less obvious or intrusive way to give the reader this information without "labelling" it as a major part of the book.
However, I did enjoy the characters and can see reading a second installment with Day, Kingsley and Hammersmith as the Murder Squad at Scotland Yard develops. It does feel like the beginning of a series.
I enjoy historical mysteries and thrillers and this could have been a great one, but it wasn’t. It stared out very promising but never really peaked and the ending seemed hurried and underdeveloped. Some scenes were exceptionally well written and others lacked tremendously. Some actions of the characters seemed random and did not benefit the story. Perhaps more research of Victorian London would have helped with character development and cut down of the Americanisms that were not used much in that time period. I would describe this book as “not bad but needing polish”. Overall a capable author with potential. I think I would read his next book just to see if it gets better.