Title: The Harvest Man – Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad #4
Author: Alex Grecian
In The Devil’s Workshop, London discovered that Jack the Ripper was back, sending the city—and Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad—into chaos. But now it is even worse. Not only is the Ripper still at large, but so is another killer just as bad.
For Inspector Walter Day, it has been a difficult time. His wife has given birth to twins, his hostile in-laws have come to stay, and a leg injury has kept him at his desk. But when the Harvest Man begins killing, carving people’s faces off their skulls, the Yard knows they need Day in the field.
Not so Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith. Rash actions have cost him his job, but that doesn’t stop his obsessive hunt for the Ripper. When the mutilated bodies of prostitutes start turning up again, Hammersmith enlists the help of a criminal network to stop Saucy Jack, his methods carrying him further and further from the ideals of the Yard, so far in fact that he may never be able to find his way back.
Of course, the Ripper’s been playing a game with him—with Walter Day, as well. He is pushing both of them to their limits, and what happens when they get there . . . no one can say.
When I saw this book at the bookstore, I thought it was a once off tale, only to realize a couple of pages in that this was a continuation from three other novels, I was right in the middle of it all. Did I stop reading? No. Alex Grecian was able to fill in details from what happened before as hints and references, told with enough information that it is not completely necessary to start reading from the first book but knowing that is so much still to the story. I will say, however, that there is greater insight into the characters and their growth by reading the first books and of course a proper introduction to the antagonist Jack the Ripper.
From a story perspective The Harvest Man is well written and flows brilliantly from one tense moment to the next, offering insight from multiple characters to create a well rounded tale.
I will admit to a sleepless night when I’d read the Harvest Man’s methods and psyche, which is something considering I’ve been reading horrors since I was ten. That sort of mindset has always been my greatest fear.
A cliff hanger ending, an iconic antagonist who appears enough times to both frustrate and cause anxiety, as well as a well captured and re-created world where the characters live, makes this a worthwhile read.
Rating: A grand 4 out of 5.
PS: I will be purchasing the preceding and proceeding novels.