The Devil's Workshop

The Devil's Workshop - Alex Grecian Scotland Yard’s “Murder Squad” is still in its infancy; undermanned and sometimes untrained, they are not doing their job with the expediency some citizens expect. This small group of citizens takes it upon themselves to capture criminals and mete out their own brand of justice – namely making them suffer in the same manner as the victims. Their own plan, however, is also moving along a little more slowly than they anticipated so they hatch a scheme to get more criminals at one time. Arranging, in a most unique way, the prison escape of four criminals they hope to subsequently round up again. The plan goes horribly wrong and now the Murder Squad” has escaped criminals on their hands as well as their ongoing caseload of crimes.

To make matters worse, one of the escaped criminals is a man with a vendetta against Inspector Walter Day. The “Tailor” happens to run into a fellow criminal who is well known to the police. The “Murder Squad” was created to catch this one criminal who has eluded them, but now “Saucy Jack” is back!

This all going on while Inspector Day’s wife is busy having her baby in the background. The author pulls it all together brilliantly.

This series is definitely historical, but I could not describe it as Historical Fiction – a more accurate description might be Historical Thriller if such a genre exists. Mr. Grecian takes us into the fog-shrouded, gas-lit streets of London in the late 19th century. The ambience blends perfectly with the grisly crimes perpetrated. This entry in the series, even more than the other two, definitely had some cringe-worthy moments.

I would highly recommend this series to any fans of “historical thrillers”, but would suggest starting with Mr. Grecian’s first book. This book, even more than the last (The Black Country) needs a little bit of familiarity with the first book (The Yard). This book would also appeal to fans of Lindsay Faye’s “Copper” series (The Gods of Gotham, Seven for a Secret) so they could compare how it’s done on the “other side of the pond”.