Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Harvest Man (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad, #4)The Harvest Man by Alex Grecian (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad #4)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: Mystery/Historical Fiction

Holy Crap Is All Of Got To Say!
I read many reviews over on Goodreads about The Harvest Man and one person I am friends with on there and whom I really respect her opinions on books gave it two stars so I didn’t have my expectations to high about liking this book, and I was right, I didn’t like it I loved it.
By far The Harvest Man is the bloodiest and most grotesque of the Scotland Murder Yard book series that I’ve read so far. I mean people are getting their faces cut off bit by bit while they're still alive for crying out loud, yak!
We first meet the Harvest Man when he escapes prison with a bunch of other murders in book #3 of the series, The Devil’s Workshop, but as quick as he appears in the story he disappears just as quickly and there is nothing else because we are all focused on Jack the Ripper. However, I can honestly say that I would rather meet Jack the Ripper in a dark alley than the Harvest Man for he is a creepy crazy little man at least in my imagination and in the imagination of Alex Grecian Jack the Ripper might be a murderer, but at least he is smart and calculating not just plain old bat shit crazy!
Inspector Day has a lot going on not only is he recovery from injuries he sustained in The Devil’s Workshop, but Nevil was also fired from the Murder Squad at the end of the last book to, so imagine Inspector Day as our Sherlock without his Watson! Sad really. Walter also has two new babies in the house, twins, whose arrival has also brung about the arrival of Walter’s in-laws into a rented house on the same street that the Day family resides on. Tensions are not only thick on the homefront because Walter is riding a desk at work since he is still recovering from those injuries but it is like making someone with ADD/ADHD sit at a desk all day long, so not a very pleasant experience for him at home or at work. Then Saucy Jack is playing with his mind which is enough to drive a stress free person nuts, but poor Walter has all these other pressures in his life so Jack’s tormenting is just bad sport in my opinion. The ending was like “what the *#&%”! But I won’t give it away I promise just be prepared for it cause it is a doozy!
The Harvest Man case has everyone at the Yard overwhelmed with these grisly murders and even though we know who the murderer is, the hunt for the murderer is the main focus in this book, and even though it is not very conventional to already know who the villain is in a detective story I felt it actually heightened the suspense in this one making it an awesome read!
I highly recommend this one and the Scotland Yard Murder Squad series. I don’t however feel that they would be as good as stand alone reads, I think if you are going to read one you should definitely make time to read the others to. Book #5 in the series, Lost and Gone Forever has an expected publication date of May 17th, 2016 so I am really looking forward to seeing what happens next!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Devil's Workshop (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad, #3)The Devil's Workshop by Alex Grecian (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad #3)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Genre: Mystery/Historical Fiction

So book three starts out with an almost unreadable account from a man who is being held against his will and who is being systematically tortured. A few pages into the book I then realized who he was and that he deserves this torture, but it didn’t take away from those first few chapters of that sick feeling in my stomach and the unbelievable anguish I felt for this person. So that was literally the best part of the book, I was disappointed in this installment in this series because it just seemed a huge hot mess of horrendous criminals walking about trying desperately not to get caught after their prison escape while all the while they are trying to commit more horrendous crimes.

Cinderhouse, our evil police killer from the first book makes a reappearance in this installment and of course he is all bent out of shape and is looking for revenge against Inspector Day for catching him and putting him in prison. The Harvest Man, whom we will be introduced to more thoroughly in the next book is also one of the escapees, but other than that most of the other escapees are just minor characters in the story.

The chase to find these criminals lends lots of fast paced action to this book, but I just was not feeling this one there just seemed to be something off about it. Maybe it was Jack and the whole back and forth thing with him and Cinderhouse, but I just didn’t get into this one as much as the others. Now don’t get me wrong I did enjoy the book I just didn’t devour it like I did the other books in the series.

Definitely worth the read as a part of the series, but as a read alone I probably wouldn't have even bothered to read it.

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Black Country (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad, #2)The Black Country by Alex Grecian (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad #2)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: Mystery/Historical Fiction

In the second installment of the Scotland Murder Squad series we find our heroes, Inspector Walter Day and the newly promoted Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith traveling from the grimy streets of London out to a section of the British Midlands, called “the Black Country”. A family has disappeared, well not the whole family, just the mother, father, and youngest boy; the other children, two girls and another boy are perfectly safe and sound at home. And boy are the other three children acting a bit shady. Actually every single person in this mining town acts shady making them all suspects in my book.

Uncomfortable in their surroundings, Nevil and Walter, walk right into a town full of superstitions and secrets. Actually keeping secrets seems to be this town’s forte. What I don’t understand is after they were almost poisoned why did they not run for the nearest train station, I know I would have! The town is sinking into the mines and there is a sickness going around that no one quite understands including the town doctor, but Walter and Nevil are as dogged as ever to figure out this crime, especially considering one of the victims is a small child.

This book gave me the heebie jeebies, especially with suspiciously creepy children in it, it is like the movie, The Good Son!! I wanted to hide from my own children in case they held murder in their hearts, lol, just kidding I had to be a bit theatrical about it!

Another awesome read, but it was a bit slower paced than the first book in the series was. Another bit I didn’t to much care for was the prose that included the ground caving in and houses going with them, the words just left me feeling a bit dizzy and off balanced, but other than those two minor things I really, really liked this one. Oh and also prepare yourself for the ending you will be like “what the *#%!”. Seriously.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Yard (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad, #1)The Yard by Alex Grecian (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad #1)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Mystery/Historical Fiction

Victorian London. Sigh, some of us are just born in the wrong time period and in my case the wrong country also! Then they went ahead and put Jack the Ripper's name on the front of the book and what self-respecting mystery lover could possibly even resist. I know I couldn't.

Now this was a re-read for me, I did read it about two years ago, but at that time I was on so much medication for my back that that whole period is just a fuzzy haze of half memories. So when I couldn't remember over 75% of what I read I decided to read it again, well maybe if you can't remember such a large amount of the book then maybe it isn't a re-read after all, lol!

The book starts not long after Jack the Ripper stops killing and there has been a lot of changes at the Scotland Yard Murder Squad, including the leaving of one of the Detective Inspectors that hunted Saucy Jack himself and the arrival of Detective Inspector Walter Day, who came from solving small town crime to being thrust into the cesspool of London crime. Newly married and new to London you would think it would all have overwhelmed Inspector Day till he moved back to that small town, but he has a keen mind and a dogged determination to catch the bad guy. Partnered up with Constable Nevil Hammersmith and Dr. Bernard Kingsley, the coroner (who is actually based upon a true historical figure), Inspector Day must find out who has been brutally murdering members of Scotland Yard's Murder Squad before another member finds himself stuffed in a steamer trunk.

I wouldn't call this a fast paced thriller, but it is a great detective story! And even though some of the historical facts are a bit off in some aspects it is not huge mistakes that would take away from the story I won't compare it to Sherlock Holmes because well it wouldn't live up to that but if you enjoy detective stories like those of Sherlock Holmes I really think you'll enjoy The Yard to.