The Yard

For a committed Victorianist, Alex Grecian’s The Yard is a great find. I got it in my monthly box of advance reader books and seized it immediately. It’s set in the aftermath of the Jack the Ripper nightmare. Scotland Yard is on edge and still reeling under accusations of incompetence. It’s becoming more professionalized, using new forensic investigatory techniques and the techniques of fingerprinting to find criminals. Grecian is spot on with details about late-Victorian London and he seems to have learned a lot from Dickens to develop an array of characters.  The “dancing man” seems straight out of Bleak House, the boy Fenn an amalgam of many of Dickens’ mistreated child-characters. Mr & Mrs Day seem plucked from David Copperfield and so on. The multiple murder plots are enough to satisfy any mystery-lover.