The Yard – Alex Grecian

At the front of my paperback copy of this book there are the following enticing quotes:

‘Will keep you riveted from page one.’ Jeffery Deaver

Oh no it won’t. What have you done with the real Jeffery Deaver?

‘If you like TV drama Ripper Street, you’ll love the Yard.’ Anonymous

Having read this book, I can confidently predict I will not like Ripper Street.

‘CSI Victorian London.’ Daily Express

Utter bollocks. Did the reviewer read the book? Don’t ever let me buy the Express!

You may have guessed by now that this does not rank as one of my favorite books. It’s crap.

It purports to be a Victorian police procedural taking place one year after the Ripper killings have stopped. It purports to be rich in detail and authenticity.

No and no.

What is it? A half decent crime story wrapped up in the thinnest of Victorian veneers – omnibuses, horses, manure, fog, workhouses – and betrayed by twee characterization, and dialogue that is just awful. Worse, the characters – and I am using the term ‘characters’ loosely here – would be better described as time travelers, given the regular output of 21st century speech.

The plot, such as it is, involves Scotland Yard’s newest recruit Walter Day, joining forces with Dr Bernard Kingsley, “a pioneer of groundbreaking forensic science,” on the trail of a serial killer. Things, unsurprisingly, are not all they seem. But a happy ending is assured.

Interesting premise completely killed off by the execution.

Avoid.

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