faintingviolet’s #CBR4 review #37: The Yard by Alex Grecian
Can we talk about the cover of this one for a minute? Because surely I was misled. I enjoyed Alex Grecian’s The Yard and I picked it up by chance because my holds at the library weren’t in yet. I work at a Historic Site in New Jersey and we are hosting a Steampunk event again this year so I try to read some Steampunky literature to get into the mood. I saw that particular scrolling typeface on The Yard’s cover; read the dust jacket to make sure it sounded interesting. Via Goodreads: “Victorian London is a cesspool of crime, and Scotland Yard has only twelve detectives—known as “The Murder Squad”—to investigate countless murders every month. Created after the Metropolitan Police’s spectacular failure to capture Jack the Ripper, The Murder Squad suffers rampant public contempt. They have failed their citizens. But no one can anticipate the brutal murder of one of their own . . . one of the twelve . . .When Walter Day, the squad’s newest hire, is assigned the case of the murdered detective, he finds a strange ally in the Yard’s first forensic pathologist, Dr. Bernard Kingsley. Together they track the killer, who clearly is not finished with The Murder Squad . . . but why?” and decided that this one was for me.
So about the cover – the scrolling, large, black capital letter only typeface has become short hand for novels in the Steampunk family. And I realized about 10 pages in, that this book is not steampunk at all, there is absolutely no anachronistic anything throughout. Now, if you want to talk about cutting edge technology for the time, the 1890s in this case, there is a great deal of time spent with the detectives and coroner talking about the new-fangled fingerprint technology and proper science of autopsy here for you.