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Publisher's Summary

Scotland Yard's Murder Squad faces the most shocking case of its existence, in the extraordinary new historical thriller from the author of the acclaimed national best seller The Yard.

London, 1890: Four vicious murderers have escaped from prison, part of a plan gone terribly wrong, and now it is up to Walter Day, Nevil Hammersmith, and the rest of Scotland Yard's Murder Squad to hunt down the convicts before the men can resume their bloody spree. But they might already be too late. The killers have retribution in mind, and one of them is heading straight toward a member of the Murder Squad, and his family.

And that isn't even the worst of it. During the escape, the killers have stumbled upon the location of another notorious murderer, one thought gone for good but now prepared to join forces with them.

Jack the Ripper is loose in London once more.

©2014 Alex Grecian (P)2014 Penguin

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Thin Plot with Lots of Gore

I found this book very disappointing. I had read the first two books and they were quite good. The first in the series is by far the best.

This book takes place over a 2 day period and deals with recapturing escaped prisoners. One of the escapees is Tailor who was the murderer in the first book of the series, and the other is Jack the Ripper, who has been hidden in an underground cell since his capture. A few prisoners are quickly rounded up but the Tailor and Jack are still on the loose. At the same time that Day and Hammersmith are hunting escaped prisoners, Day's wife is giving birth with the assistance of Dr. Kingsley and his daughter Fiona.

Part of the story takes place in the catacombs of London where Jack has chained Day to the wall. What follows is an overly long conversation between Jack and Day. When Jack leaves, Day miraculously uses his cuff links to unlock his chains and sets off after Jack despite his wounds.

As one would suspect the Tailor heads for Day's house followed by Jack. What follows is lots of gore, a detailed description of Mrs. Day's labor, blood everywhere, Jack carves up the tailor in Jack the Ripper style. Just about then Day and Hammersmith arrive - more mayhem and blood and gore. Finally Mrs. Day's gives birth and we hear about a new mass murderer called The Harvest Man and Jack escapes. This sets the scene for the next book in the series which obviously will have Jack the Ripper and The Harvest Man on the loose.

As I said there is not much plot here - more a short story than a novel. It is padded with monologues, detailed description of giving birth, and carving up victims Jack the Ripper style. There is very little suspense in the story. We know who the bad guys are from the start, so we get lots of blood and gore in detail to pad the book out. I would hardly call this a mystery - it is nowhere near as good as the first two books which were real mysteries.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Kandi
  • ruckersville, VA, USA
  • 07-22-14

Violent and Lacks Coherence

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I liked the first book very much, and the second one was good. They had good plots and were interesting for what they showed of the day. I liked the Doctor who was pushing the edge of forensic science. But this one was violent for the sake of shock value. The violence was so far unrealistic, especially for the medical capabilities of the day, that they lost all connection with reality. I am so sorry.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

It was as if he brought in new threads at the end just to leave them loose. Nothing was finished. This one isn't worth reading. Good guys are bad, bad guys are over the top, and the motivations of everyone are absurd.

What didn’t you like about John Curless’s performance?

The reader did the best he could with the book.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Almost none.

Any additional comments?

I am sorry that I discovered a new author I liked only to be disappointed so much with this book. I seldom write reviews, but I hope the author reads this and gets back to the great book he started with.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Series Inconsistency

Would you try another book from Alex Grecian and/or John Curless?

I enjoyed the first two titles of this series, and looked forward to this third entry. HOWEVER, I do not like thrillers -- not as books or as films or as TV programs. The Devil's Workshop turned out to be a thriller with all the things I hate about the genre: repeated, graphic violence and implied and stated gore; repeated, unrelenting menace; manipulative suspense. None of this was suggested by the Audible description. I love historical mysteries and British procedurals, but please leave the blood and gore "off screen." I finished the book, but will view with suspicion Alex Grecian's next title in this series.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I want narrator Toby Leonard Moore back!

Toby Leonard Moore was a much better narrator for this series. I don't know why they changed narrators after the first 2 books. In my opinion, John Curless ruined a lot of the characters for me. Claire Day became so whiney in this book, I couldn't stand to listen to her. And Inspector Day lost the authority in his voice. I thought he sounded somewhat weak and scared in most of the book, even when he had no reason to. The Inspector Day of the first two books in the series, always sounded authoritative, professional, and confident. If there are more books to come, please go back to the original narrator! I still liked the story line a great deal, but as audio book lovers know, a narrator can make the book much better or worse, so in my opinion, this book wasn't as good as the first two, but as stated, it was still a very imaginative and thrilling story line.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Too gruesome.

Has The Devil's Workshop turned you off from other books in this genre?

No.

Would you be willing to try another one of John Curless’s performances?

Yes

Any additional comments?

This is more of a thriller and a horror story than a mystery. I simply do not want to spend more time with a filth-covered Jack the Ripper with no pants on. Yuck!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

FOOL ME ONCE...

What would have made The Devil's Workshop better?

This book is awful. I listened to the first two with joy. Other reviews warned me about "The Devil's Workshop," but I forged on regardless and bought it. I bagged it after five painful hours of hoping, praying, willing it to get better. Like watching Donald Trump. It didn't work.It is almost as if Alex Grecian didn't write this, but was written instead by a formulaic ghost writer, and a bad one to boot. Character and timeline continuity from the first two novels is horrible; the characters are thin, trite, and shallow; most have somehow become inexplicably stupid; and I found it to be a game to predict what was going to happen next with disconcerting accuracy. One overwrought cliche after another.The narrator isn't great, but I don't blame John Curless as much as I blame bad writing.The one exception is Curless's characterization of Jack the Ripper: It's an overdone and silly Vincent Price with a breathy British accent reading really lousy dialogue, and it drove me nuts! But that's just the tip of this melting iceberg. I doubt if even the wonderful narrator of the first two books could have salvaged this mess. I suspect he refused to attach his name to it, thus the change in narrator.After the first book, I just assumed I'd read all five. I cannot imagine investing my time and money into books four and five. Fool me twice, shame on me.

What could Alex Grecian have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Written a readable story and shown more respect for the reader, especially anyone who invested time in the first two books and planned on spending MONEY on every subsequent one.

What three words best describe John Curless’s voice?

Bad Vincent Price.

What character would you cut from The Devil's Workshop?

All of them, but I'd rip Jack out first by the throat.

Any additional comments?

Bummer. Now I've got to find a new foggy and damp Victorian mystery/crime writer for my long, daily walks.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I Was Biting My Tongue

I was biting my tongue in anticipation. I wanted to shout out to them the truth and the danger. I cannot wait to listen to the next in the series. Wonderful characters, beautiful imagery, well beautifully told, and a truly edge of your seat story!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • bg
  • 04-01-16

Listen to the reviews before buying

I like many others loved the first two books. The level of violence and gore in this book was beyond listening to. I gave up less than a quarter of the way through. Will return it. Not sure I'll even try the next one since it's named after one of the escaped criminals in this book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cheryl
  • Petersburgh, NY, United States
  • 10-17-14

Creepy

This was not what I expected at all. The story is a good one, but the gruesomeness was chilling. That said, I enjoyed it very much. Go figure. The narrator is perfect for the story.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Mmm

I wish these books were a little less grim. Some poor law person always dies and it gets too close to horror for me.