The Yard, Alex Grecian (Penguin, 2013)

The Yard

A year after Jack the Ripper’s string of murders stuns Whitechapel, and there is another killer on the loose in London, the city at the centre of the world.

Alex Grecian expertly interweaves the stories of multiple characters within, and related to, Scotland Yard, leading with the protagonist Inspector Little, who has just joined the “Murder Squad”.

Grecian’s ability to effortlessly glide between stories makes for gripping reading of a novel which echoes the style of a movie, a TV show or even a graphic novel, such as Grecian’s own Proof.

Nonetheless, the author’s tense and suspenseful style somewhat casts into the shadows what is really a rather mediocre plot, which does not produce anything that is extremely exciting or revolutionary.

The novel provides us with an interesting look into the workings of Scotland Yard, and also the developments of forensic science during late 19th century, when many were highly skeptical about the use of fingerprints for identification.

While the story itself is easy to imagine, I was only able to picture modern-day London; the description of Victorian London was not wholly convincing, and I felt that it lacked the muggy, noisy and bustling atmosphere which I tend to associate with the capital during that era.

The Yard is, on the whole, a well-produced, promising debut novel; it is a definite page-turner, in which style and form nevertheless triumph over content and story-line.

3.5 Books

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2 Comments

Filed under History, Mystery

2 responses to “The Yard, Alex Grecian (Penguin, 2013)

  1. Nice review! I appreciate the in-depth and honest analysis. It sounds like you weren’t totally sold on the book.

  2. Dear tchistorygal,

    Thank you very much for reading the review; I’m glad you liked it.Thank you also for being so complimentary. I don’t like to be too critical about books I read, because it must be extremely difficult for writers to produce sublime works of literature. However, as you have guessed, I didn’t enjoy ‘The Yard’ completely. It was a big shame though, because, as I have said, the writing style was excellent. I was a little bit disappointed. Have you read the book? And would you consider reading it? (or have I put you off it completely?)

    I don’t intend to do that though, and I hope that what I write here is only interpreted as my opinion; I understand that everybody has their own opinion and may love this book or likewise they may dislike others that I have praised. It would be great to hear contrasting opinions on here.

    Kind regards,

    Nathan

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