After leaving a career in advertising, working on accounts that included Harley-Davidson and The Great American Smokeout, Alex Grecian returned to his first love: writing fiction. He created the long-running and critically acclaimed graphic novel series Proof, which NPR named one of the best books of 2009. The series stars John “Proof” Prufock, a special-agent-sasquatch.
One of the Proof storylines is set in the 1800′s and inspired Alex’s debut novel The Yard. It is the first in a projected series about the famous London Murder Squad. The second reportedly will focus on the development of photography in criminal investigation.
From a Q & A at the author's website:
There has been much written about Jack the Ripper—both fact and fiction—but your debut novel, THE YARD, actually begins after the failed investigation of those grisly murders by Scotland Yard has been laid to rest. What is THE YARD about?--Marshal Zeringue
It’s about the men who continued to try to clean up London after they’d already failed with the Ripper murders. During those murders and for some time after they stopped, the people in London were terrified and angry, and they took a lot of those emotions out on their police, whom they felt had failed to keep them safe. There was a lot of thinly veiled contempt for authority.
When The Yard begins, a detective has just been murdered. His body’s been found folded up in a steamer trunk, his eyes and mouth sewn shut, and the newest detective on the squad, Walter Day, has to solve the crime. He’s just arrived in London, has absolutely no confidence, and yet still lands the biggest and hardest case he could possibly get.
But he’s able to turn to the first forensic pathologist in England for help. Dr Bernard Kingsley has some unconventional scientific ideas about how to catch the killer, and Inspector Day is willing to listen to him. They’ve got to hurry to catch the killer, though, because he hasn’t stopped killing. Between this and the Ripper murders, Inspector Day begins to realize Scotland Yard is facing a whole new breed of criminal: men who kill because...[read on]