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The Yard (Murder Squad 1) Paperback – 3 Jan 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (3 Jan 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0241958911
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241958919
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 51,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 6 Sep 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I don't like writing wholly critical reviews but in truth I thoroughly disliked this book. It purports to be about the Victorian police force in London, but fails to convince in any way. My copy carries an endorsement from Jeffrey Deaver promising that it is "rich with detail, atmosphere and history." It isn't. The descriptions of London (such as they are) are feeble and generic, and the language - so vital in generating a sense of period - is ludicrously inappropriate. The dialogue in particular is absurd. This is supposed to be London in 1889 but within just the first few pages people use such phrases as "no worries", "I'm right on it", and "he's heading up the investigation." These weren't in use in London in 1989, never mind 1889 and phrases like "Where was the beat cop?" still aren't. Conversation is liberally sprinkled with "yeah", "sure" and the like. It's all as phoney as Dick van Dyke's cockney accent and it destroyed any possible atmosphere or authenticity, making the book almost unreadable for me.

I wasn't convinced by the characters, the plot, the language or the period setting. This is a run-of-the-mill psychotic serial killer story with many of the clichés of the genre well in evidence. It would have been unremarkable set in the USA in the present day; set in a paper-thin caricature of Victorian London it is plain silly.

Others have obviously enjoyed the book but I really, really didn't, and to me at least, an American author trying to pass this off to a British audience is simply insulting.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Damo Green on 22 May 2014
Format: Paperback
The blurb on the back of the book made it seem like a really interesting story but it was extremely light and weak. Such a pity as it could (and should) have been so much better given the setting - location and timeline. It came across as superficial and not real - none of it seemed believable.

There was so much wrong with this
- the characters weren't engaging,
- there was no mystery
- the killer had no motive
- the beard killers were ludicrous
- the dialogue was cringworthy at times
- no atmosphere

This is the first in a series - I won't be buying any more!
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By HJK VINE VOICE on 2 Jun 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A year after Jack the Ripper claimed his last victim - The birth of Forensics - The Start of Scotland Yard - all these are really interesting topics.

I liked the TV programmes - The Suspicious of Mr Whicher & Ripper Street - so thought this book would be great - Alas it is NOT! One flaw is that it is written by an American and the language just does not seem British - in fact it does not sound Victorian - too many modern American phrases - I could maybe have forgiven this - but the historical research does not seem sound - there are lots of instances when things just do not ring true. Even this could have been forgiven but the book which is long - over 500 pages - is so DULL to read - The characters seem wooden ...

I just lost patience with the book ... I did not care who did what ... one of the few books I could not read to the end.
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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. Bate on 14 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was looking forward to reading this book but I just could not ignore the incongruities. American slang, unrealistic characters with absurd names and disassociated social class order that could only exist in a Hollywood movie view of Victorian England. Even the Metropolitan Police period rank structure is incorrect. I appreciate I sound a little pompous here but I seek out quality historical novels and am afraid that this particular authors attempt at recreating London post-Ripper social discomfort simply does not work. With respect I would avoid.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By An avid reader on 19 May 2013
Format: Paperback
Interesting premise (Victorian CSI, Jack the Ripper) ruined by ridiculously named characters spouting even more ridiculous dialogue in a unrealistically drawn Victorian London.

It's overlong, the first half is dull, the second half is too frenetic bordering on manic, the story is disjointed and lacking in any tension, the ending is rushed.

The police HQ reads like a Victorian Hill Street Blues, families want 'closure'. ....there really are too many annoyances to mention, its not even a decent pageturning potboiler. Rubbish.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. Mcdonald TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 May 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a crime mystery "The Yard" is a fairly diverting piece of entertainment, but with some very considerable limitations. Grecian sets about his story with gusto, staging his murder scene and setting up scenarios, introducing a variety of characters and providing back-stories for them at various interludes within the narrative; the plot is convoluted, multi-stranded and resolves with no loose ends. He drops in some embryonic forensic ideas and a smattering of historical colour along the way for good measure. So far, so good, but that's where the positive side of this novel ends.

If an author sets out to write a novel with an historical setting, the least he/she can do is to ensure that it is as accurate and authentic as possible; this is not the case here.

The book is littered with Americanisms, anachronisms, incongruities and social faux pas - Grecian has no apparent understanding of how rigid the class system was in Victorian Britain - this was a time when people's social standing could be determined by how they dressed; social formalities were observed in public by everyone, regardless of which stratum they belonged - middle-class ladies simply didn't introduce themselves on first name terms, certainly not to policemen or anyone else.
I can see that Grecian has tried to convey the reforming attitude to the police brought in by Sir Edward Bradford - a real-life character, appointed Commissioner in June of 1890 (not 1889) but it really doesn't wash - the level of informality and basic inaccuracies throughout the novel render it completely hollow, to the point of incredulity. A Welshman called Hammersmith (!) who lived on a farm but worked down a mine as a child? Really?
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