The Harvest Man

Written by Alex Grecian
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

In the spring of 1890, Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad is still on the trail of Jack the Ripper, although Jack has not committed a murder recently. Now a new serial killer, nicknamed the Harvest Man, has been gruesomely killing families in their homes. Detective Inspector Walter Day, suffering from an injury after having been tortured by Jack, as described in an earlier book, takes part in the investigation. He is assisted by Nevil Hammersmith, a former detective also injured by Jack, and Dr. Kingsley, accompanied by his assistant Henry, a giant of a man who’s a bit slow in mental ability. Even though he’s assigned to a new case, Day continues to determine Jack’s location, looking below London’s streets, before the Karstphanomen, a secret society of vigilantes, find him.

This novel is the fourth in the Murder Squad series. Because its story is a continuation, I wish I had been able to read the other novels first; however, this novel can be read as a stand-alone because of the introduction of a new nemesis. There is plenty of back story available to explain how Jack was able to elude the police and torture the main characters, plus explain why Hammersmith was dismissed from the police force.

The action is fast-paced and gripping; a real page-turner. The author provides an absorbing blend of 19th-century history and mystery. Grecian certainly knows London, its many streets and buildings, and as a result adds realism to the story. I found the story entertaining and a must-read for mystery aficionados.