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.
©2012 Alex Grecian (P)2012 Penguin Audio
The story held your attention.
I enjoyed all 3 of the main characters Day, Hammersmith and the Doctor
A very good reader that brings the story mood and interest.
I love to read, fly and play tennis. I always have a book and an audible book going at the same time. I'm a mystery/thriller junky.
I could hardly get through the beginning.....I knew there was a child involved, that bothered me a lot and I was immediately afraid. The atmosphere & period of time when this is set (late 1800's) was terrible. Jack the Ripper was still on everyone's mind. The conditions, the way the police handled evidence and the way citizens treated the police astonished me. How did they survive? How did they ever solve a crime. The story ran in 3 parts at least....the murder of police detectives, the constable and chimney sweep, and the boy all meshed together in a miraculous way that kept me on the edge throughout. It made me want to shake some sense into these people. It was real, gut wrenching, high anxiety "reading". It was always difficult to stop listening. Well worth it. Be prepared to be either amazed or appalled.
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.
Due to the narrator I can not rate the book/storyr. I have listened to many books the last couple years and this guy is absolutly the WORST. He reads a sentence pauses, then takes a very audible breath. This narrative stye carried on as far into the book as I could stand. His repetative cadence ruined what other wise started to feel like a good story.
I love mysteries in the style of P.D. James, Rex Stout, Elizabeth Peters, Dave Duncan, etc. I love sci fi written by Issac Asimov (the robot books), Douglas Adams, Jack McDevitt (Alex Benedict series) and Susan Collins. I love fantasy written by Terry Pratchett, and Kim Harrison. I love Kate Morton. I don't like graphic descriptions of violence.
I stopped reading after 4 hours. Murdered children and mutilated women can quickly become too much for me. This is a dark and ugly world ??? no cozy mystery. I feared the worst at the beginning when the horribly scared face of a woman was described by a policeman as ???a bit fetching??? lending ???character.??? The scar was later described as ???began under Esme???s hair and ran diagonally across her forehead, jumped over her left eye and exploded in a starburst on her cheek before commencing down over her chin, her throat, and disappearing under the top of her ??? nightgown. The endpoint ??? was a crater where Esme???s left breast had once been.??? ???Fetching.??? Perhaps the author needs ???character.???
I found "The Yard" to be an interesting first encounter with Alex Grecian. I really had no idea what to expect but enjoyed being taken back to the days when crime solving did not have all of the advantages of today's wonderful forensic medicine capabilities.
As I listened, I could clearly envision the misty streets of London and the gray stone walls of Scotland Yard. At times it was a little difficult for me to follow the British accent, but, all in all, I was able to follow the story quite well.
One can easily imagine the thoughts and concerns of detectives at the new process of fingerprints was beginning to be discussed and not at all thoroughly trusted.
I would suggest that the crime solving presented in this book is quite realistic as it often times just happens upon a matter of blind luck more than any super detective work.
Being as London was rocking under the time frame of "Jack the Ripper", some aspects of the book may be a little bit grisly for some readers, but all in all a good listen.
Absolutely! It was a wonderful story filled with so many intriguing characters, great action and adventure and poignant human interactions.
The humanity of the characters as they interact with each other. Even the villains were forgivable in their flaws.
There were so many wonderful characters that it is hard to pinpoint just one. I liked all of the detectives and their helpers who came out from the underworld of London to assist them. The "Dancing Man", the Doctor, and the boy, Fen, were especially interesting. You see, it is hard to choose!
I was very touched by the kindness shown by the detectives and the doctor and their respect for humanity and their dedication to the populace who depended on them.
This book took me several days to listen to and I could hardly wait in between to listen to the next part. I had recently seen a documentary on the history of Scotland Yard and the Metropolitan Police and this stayed very close to the historical background. The author did his research well. The characters are wonderful and diverse and the back stories for each are great and help the listener to understand their motivations for their behavior. The poignancy of the interactions made it very heart-warming, even though it is essentially a story about solving crimes and apprehending criminals. I can't wait to listen to the next book in the series. Alex Grecian is a truly gifted and lyrical writer.
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I don’t usually like murder-mysteries, but I took a chance on this one because I liked the background of London in the late 1800s.
I enjoyed it! I was drawn to the intrigue and the setting and I appreciated that it was not jammed with gratuitous maniacal serial killer gore and violence; sure there was some but it wasn’t over-blown.
Less murder and more mystery – that’s the balance I like.
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
A police procedural just as police were emerging as professionals. Set in 1890s London smack at the Sherlockian moment… Alex Grecian creates a fascinating ensemble after a murky killer-of-cops. By combining emerging forensic sciences with dogged deductive police work, all with a supporting cast of culturally constrained characters who channel the action.. well the result's a fun read, um…. listen.
And Toby Leonard Moore creates emotionally credible and distinct characters. I liked this enough to almost immediately download "The Black Country" so I could stay in this great place. Unfortunately, as you'll see from my review of the second book in this Scotland Yard Murder Squad series… That was not my best decision.
Still, this book is worth the time… It's a true time machine.
I found the characters very lively and I almost regretted that some were only in the book.
It depicted the 19th-century London with accuracy, as far as I can tell, as well as the social difficulties of that time.
Mr. Moore imitated the different accents and prosody attached to them and to the lower and middle class. This made the different characters even more unique and almost real--if you decide that you want to believe this, of course. I liked his voice and it gave me the feeling to share the reading with a friend as if we were having a conversation.
Definitely! But as the reading lasts about 14 hours, it took me two days to listen to it.
I'm looking forward to reading the second book in the series!
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