Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Harvest Man by Alex Grecian

It's 1890 in London and the Scotland Yard Murder Squad is still finding its way.  Their consulting physician is excited about a way to identify criminals by the marks their fingers leave behind and he also has ideas about how to keep a crime scene untouched until he can get there.

Life has also moved on for the detectives in the Squad.  Walter Day is still recovering from the search for Jack the Ripper that almost killed him and left him with a significant injury.  His wife, Claire, has had twin girls and his in-laws have moved in to supervise, bringing a staff.  He doesn't have a moment's peace.  His sergent, Nevile Hammersmith, has even more problems.  A pure policeman who can see what needs to be done and who doesn't worry about the rules and procedures, he has also been left injured and also dismissed from the force.  He is bereft without his work as a policeman as it is what he was born to do.

Of course, crime never stops.  There is a new serial killer, nicknamed The Harvest Man, stalking the streets.  He breaks into houses and kills married couples by slicing off their faces.  There is a Ripper copycat prowling the nights.  The real Jack is still in the shadows although the official word is that he is dead.  He is very much alive and totally focused on Inspector Day, the only man to ever prove a challenge to him.

This is the fourth book in this delightful Victorian series.  Grecian has spun a complex tale that resolves satisfactorily.  Even more, his cast of characters is one that the reader comes to care about and wait eagerly for the next installment in their lives.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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