Friday, February 13, 2015

What we're reading: Scotland Yard

I thoroughly enjoyed Alex Grecian's two previous books about the beginning of the Scotland Yard Murder Squad, The Yard and The Black Country. (My review is here.) So I was delighted to discover, while looking for the first book for a patron, that he'd written a third that I had somehow missed while it was on the New Books shelves.

In The Devil's Workshop, a group of disgruntled citizens has chosen to take the law into its own hands in a novel way: They arrange for four murderers awaiting hanging to be set loose from prison, with plans to capture them and make them pay for their crimes by inflicting on them the same kinds of punishments these killers had visited upon their victims. But (surprise) the plan goes wrong, the killers get away, and now it's up to the Murder Squad--Walter Day, Nevil Hammersmith, and the others--to track them down and get them back behind bars. Trouble is, before this secret society planned this daring escape, they captured and contained a previous menace to London, and now, with the help of this murderous crew and his own insane brand of ingenuity, Jack the Ripper is once more on the prowl.

I missed the greater focus on the main characters in favor of Jack and the other criminals--while I enjoyed this, I liked the first two books better. And also, I have to say, it was a bit icky. Gore galore. But The Devil's Workshop was well written, suspenseful, and a pretty good continuation of Grecian's franchise, as well as a cool idea about the fate of Saucy Jack.

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