The Yard

The setting is London, just after Jack the Ripper made his name.  Scotland Yard is still something new and the reputation of the London police in general is not good.  This is the backdrop for Alex Grecian's first novel, The Yard.

Detective Inspector Little has been found dead - his dismembered body stuffed into a trunk.  The detectives at Scotland Yard are taking this murder personally.  So the rank and file is somewhat dismayed when DI Day is assigned to lead the investigation.  Day has just arrived from Devon and has very little experience in investigating major crimes.  Constable Pringle, Dr. Kingsley, the medical examiner, and Hammersmith, an up and coming policeman round out the investigative group.  But it's not just Little's murder they must investigate. There is a kidnapped boy, another dead policeman and a man who has been garroted after having his facial hair shaved off.  All these crimes are seemingly unconnected but all must be solved.

This is a good story.  The time period is interesting.  There is no real forensic science to speak of, but Kingsley has discovered the early research into fingerprinting and he thinks this may be of use in the investigation.  London is a good setting- still skittish from the Jack the Ripper murders and the police are anxious to show they can solve crimes.  And the characters are interesting - Hammersmith has a somewhat dubious background, Pringle is a social climber, and Day just wants the job done.

This book wins my trifecta - good writing, good plot, good characters.

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