The Yard is set in London, 1889. The Scotland Yard is still reeling from their failure to catch Jack the Ripper, and have lost the respect of the public who call them “bluebottles.” Inspector Walter Day has been a member of the Murder Squad at the Yard for less than a week when a fellow Murder Squad detective is found dead in a steamer trunk. With help from a fellow detective, Black, Constable Hammersmith and Dr. Bernard Kingsley, a pioneering forensic anthropologist, he tries to solve the case in crime ridden Victorian London.
I was mesmerized by how the author was able to make you feel like you were a part of this time period. It was a fast read not because it was a great whodunit, but because it was an eloquent character study of law enforcement officials at the beginning of the modern age where forensic techniques that is commonplace today were looked upon with suspicion by the police. For example, Dr. Kingsley tries to convince the detectives to use fingerprints to eliminate suspects.
I would recommend this book to any person who enjoys historical fiction or is interested in Victorian England or the birth of a modern city and its police force. This impressive debut is the beginning of a series and I will definitely be reading the next one!