The Harvest Man Review

Posted May 20, 2015 by Rosette in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

The Harvest Man ReviewThe Harvest Man by Alex Grecian
Also by this author: The Yard (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad, #1), Lost and Gone Forever
Series: The Murder Squad #4
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons on May 19th 2015
Genres: Mystery & Detective, Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 0399166440

Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad—and Jack the Ripper—return, in the extraordinary new historical thriller from the author of the acclaimed national bestseller The Yard.

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.

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Review by Rosette

A copy of The Harvest Man was provided for purposes of an honest review.

I am new to the works of Alex Grecian and I was intrigued by the book description when I was offered to read a copy of The Harvest Man. So intrigued was I, that I did not bother to see that it wasn’t the first book of the series. In fact, it is the fourth book. Oops.

This however did not deter me from reading. There were a few areas that I could not follow so I highly recommend reading The Yard (Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad which is the first book, followed by The Black Country (The Murder Squad #2), and then the short story The Blue Girl (Murder Squad, #2.5), followed by The Devil’s Workshop (The Murder Squad, #3)

I absolutely loved this suspenseful novel. Alex Grecian is certainly a master storyteller in my eyes and it did not take long for me to become invested in these characters and their fate. The Harvest Man is a gruesome villain, a deranged nutter that goes around cutting people’s faces off. Walter Day and Nevil Hammersmith are investigating these crimes but they are also distracted with a much more intelligent criminal-Jack The Ripper. I do admit that Jack is an overused felon in both the written and screen form. But since the author does not exclusively center around him and his crimes, this version makes for a very entertaining and chilling read.

The various POVs with each chapter kept a fluid pace and I was delighted that the author took many twists and turns, never leading the reader to the obvious. The book does focus around The Harvest Man and of course Jack The Ripper, so it’s safe to say that there will be grisly crime scenes. Dr. Kingsley is an endearing character, he is father to Fiona who has a gift for drawing. She utilizes these talents to help assist in the investigation. Dr. Kingsley reminds me a bit of Quincy, for those of you old enough to have watched him.  Kingsley is a medical examiner that is active on the field and engages often to help his friends. His tool kit was a nice little introduction to the origins of forensic science and the ways of keeping the sight “clean”. But is also prompted me to learn more about the history of Forensics, which is one of the main reason I love historical novels. It had to all start somewhere, so why not here? (fiction, though it may be)

Alex Grecian has a talent for bringing all the characters in this book to life and when things get exciting one gets tempted to skip pages just to make sure that everything turns out ok. But I managed to restrain myself. Some parts did turn out ok and others did not. But that’s what makes an excellent book I suppose, the ambiguity of it all. He gives voice to all the characters it seems, giving me insight to their wants and needs, their pursuits, and what is most important to them. Their is even a hint of a love story if only Nevil Hammersmith didn’t have such tunnel vision. This to me gave the book some lightness, because a book that is completely dark can sometimes ruin a story for me.

The only issue I take with this novel is the Why? Why did he do what he did? What happened to The Harvest Man and his past that made him the way he was? But that leaves it open to many interesting discussions with reading clubs I guess, and it leaves his past to our imagination.

And so came the end. I was a bit upset with it, and you’ll see what I mean. I just don’t fare well with cliffhangers. But from this will come another great adventure. I guess I will just bite my nails until the next book. For now I will have to be satisfied with reading backwards.

Thanks Mr. Grecian, you have a new fan!

Click here to read a Preview of The Harvest Man


About Alex Grecian

Alex is the author of the national bestselling historical thrillers about Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad: THE YARD, THE BLACK COUNTRY, THE DEVIL’S WORKSHOP, and THE HARVEST MAN plus the original Murder Squad ebook, THE BLUE GIRL. The next book in the series, LOST AND GONE FOREVER, will be released in May of 2016.

He also created the long-running and critically acclaimed graphic novel series PROOF, which NPR named one of the best books of 2009.

Alex currently lives in Kansas with his wife and son. And a cat. And a tarantula.

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