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
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.
I know from whence I speak.
What a great book! I have never read anything by this author and got The Yard on some sale or another. I expected it to be OK but great is what I got as Grecian built this Jack the Ripper era police procedural around three other serial murder cases newly-born Scotland Yard was tasked with. Great character development, good guys and bad, complex plot that he brought together well in the end, and a story of budding comradeship and friendship you only find in professions like law enforcement or the military. He also provided an interesting spin on the beginnings of primitive criminal forensics. A different reading/listen experience and well worth even a full credit.
I listened to the book over a period of more than a week on my long commute home from work. I thought the narration was terrific. For me, listening to the book brought out the story better than reading it. I have books I read and those I listen to. This is one which I will tell my reader friends to definitely listen to. There were a number of issues going on at the same time - sometimes this can be hard to track when you are listening to a story especially over time. However, it was easy to follow. I do love a book that makes an attempt to uphold the goodness of people. It gives one hope. I will look forward to more from this author and I look forward to listening to books of substance from this narrator. He is just so talented. He did an excellent job of individualizing the characters, I thought he brought out the inner humanity of Hammersmith particularly well.
This was good deal, but the authors didn't get me hooked enough to search them out for future purchases.
The plot was too obvious, it felt like the clues found left nothing to figure out and the attempt to have color the story with other, vulnerable characters just added more complexity at the cost of providing a great mystery
Not my "cup of tea" (pardon the pun) in voice talent, but not sure if it was the material he had to go with or just him. I would be more apt to chose this narrator again than these authors.
Overall, I listened to the whole thing, and though all the mystery was gone early on, it met its purpose and filled the time in an enjoyable enough way
Yes, very entertaining, characters to care about.
The Sherlock Holmes series, about the same period, crime suspense, investigation.
Giving voice to the different characters makes you care more for them
Just the final chapters
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