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The Yard by Alex Grecian: Recommended by Gordon Holmes

ONE year on from Jack the Ripper, Victorian London is in the grip of a wave of crime and murder, with its citizens no longer able to trust the police to protect them.

The newly formed Murder Squad of Scotland Yard, made up of just 12 detectives, battles in vain against the tide of violence and cruelty.

When the body of a Yard detective is found in a suitcase, his lips sewn together and his eyes sewn shut, it becomes clear that not even the police are safe from attack.

Walter Day, the squad’s newest recruit, is assigned the case and finds a strange ally in the Yard’s first forensic pathologist, Dr Bernard Kingsley. Can they find the murderer before it’s too late? Or is London at the mercy of a serial killer even deadlier than Jack the Ripper?

Forget the odd period faux pas and this is a gripping thriller, dark, seedy and relentlessy gory, evoking the harsh life faced by most at the time.

The description of early forensics is fascinating and add in mad prostitutes, cut throats and stabbings aplenty, and you have an excellent tale.