Monday, December 1, 2014

"Highly recommended, with the caveat that a strong stomach may be a useful trait for the prospective reader here." ~ Eric B.
They thought he was gone, but they were wrong. Jack the Ripper is loose in London once more.

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 bestsellers The Yard and The Black Country.

London, 1890. A small group of the city’s elite, fed up with the murder rate, have made it their business to capture violent criminals and mete out their own terrible brand of retribution. Now they are taking it a step further: They have arranged for four murderers to escape from prison, and into the group’s hands.

But the plan goes wrong. The killers elude them, and now it is up to Walter Day, Nevil Hammersmith, and the rest of Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad to hunt the convicts down before they can resume their bloody spree. But the Murder Squad may 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, one of the killers has stumbled upon the location of another notorious murderer, one thought gone for good, but who is now prepared to join forces with them.

And Saucy Jack has learned some new tricks while he’s been away.
Eric B. says:
"Alex Grecian has delivered something I thought unlikely, if not impossible: a book darker and more disturbing than his previous two in this sequence, The Yard and Black Country. Still, there it is. This is a plainly frightening read, one which will speed you to the conclusion with both anticipation and reluctance, one of my favorite pairings of responses to writing of this class.

Detective Walter Day, intrepid Murder Squad pioneer and the seemingly indestructible Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith find themselves on the track of four (maybe five, but you need to read the book to understand) fugitives from a Bridewell, a prison for the most incorrigible criminals: rapists and murderers the least of them. Foremost among these is Cinderhouse; child-killer and subject of Day’s first triumph of detection and apprehension, now set upon revenge visited upon his nemesis and family. The family, in the form of Day’s wife Claire who is expecting a child and who is unaware of Cinderhouse’s escape and intention to do them harm. She’s dealing with her pregnancy, a chore that leaves little time for any other considerations.

Add to the mix a secret society that has tasked itself with locating, detaining and punishing criminals according to their treatment of their victims, a sort of vigilante posse on steroids, and the plot thickens, or perhaps I should say congeals. They have in their impromptu underground cells the quintessential villain of Victorian England, who becomes a part of the twisted revenge schemes they operate. He is truly the most frightening character in my recent reading experience, and I like the dark stuff, so I’m not kidding when I say that he is one scary bloke. One wonders sometimes about where in the minds of authors such creatures dwell and subsequently emerge, and perhaps it’s best not to dwell on that relationship. Enough that they are there and that they translate to the page. Stephen King comes to mind in this kind of speculation and I have often thought that it’s best that this kind of thing is committed to paper rather than remaining inside the writer’s skill. Better out than in.

Bloody and spattered with the innards of the various victims, this tale of violence, madness and perseverance to bring the perpetrators to justice, not to mention protecting the innocent when possible is not for the faint of heart, but for those who persist the reward is gratifying, and the author proffers an unusual but intriguing gift to the reader with the very last words of the narrative. Highly recommended, with the caveat that a strong stomach may be a useful trait for the prospective reader here."

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