In this new series by the author behind Proof, a long-running graphic novel series, the writing is as polished as if this were one of many and not Grecian’s first long work. The characters are fully formed and interesting, and his knowledge of Victorian England is vast. The plot zips along, and the reader moves between many characters, hoping for Detective Walter Day’s success. Grecian’s next book will be eagerly anticipated.
Walter Day is the newest member of the Scotland Yard murder squad. Following the failure of the police to solve the Jack the Ripper murders, the city is afraid and hostile. Day has recently been recruited from the country, and he’s unsure of his ability. Immediately he is given a sensitive case, when one of the squad’s own detectives is gruesomely murdered. Along with the first forensic pathologist in England, Dr. Bernard Kingsley, Day finds himself investigating a new kind of killer, what we call the serial murderer — a new concept at the time. (PUTNAM, May, 432 pp., $26.95)