Reviews

The Devil's Workshop, by Alex Grecian

monty_reads's review against another edition

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3.0

3.5 stars

mcampbel's review against another edition

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4.0

Glad I didn't read this one at night. This book gives you shivers. It is very, very suspenseful!!

ashleyjapan's review against another edition

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5.0

At this point, I think it's safe to say that I'm a huge Alex Grecian/Murder Squad fan. This book was the most nail biting story yet. As usual, I found that the story started pretty slowly, with a lot of character development and setting of tone and plot. But, once things picked up I really couldn't put down this book. Grecian is a master of the thrill and keeps you on the edge of your seat with a knife-edge balance of horror and anticipation. Even with a happy ending, you're left asking yourself when will things all fall apart, and you realize that the story is far from over. I'm definitely reading the next book as soon as I can get a hold of it!

judythereader's review against another edition

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2.0

A year after he has disappeared, London still struggles with the shadow of Jack the Ripper. A group of men have banded together to mete out their own form of justice. They go so far as to break killers out of prison so they can take charge of their punishment. The London Police, lead by the Murder Squad, pull out all the stops in order to bring these men back in.

Over the course of a single day, Walter Day, Neville Hammersmith and the women in their lives will find their lives changed forever.

I adored the first book in this series. I was okay with the second, but I think I'm done with it now.

jaclynder's review

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4.0

The best book in the series so far!

I'm not generally one for mysteries, but there's something about those set in a historical period that keeps me coming back for more. I discovered Alex Grecian a few years ago when I won book 1 of The Murder Squad series in a Goodreads giveaway, and I've been anxiously awaiting each installment since then.

The series is set in London following the Jack the Ripper murders and follows the changes to Scotland Yard after the horrific murders. Namely, the formation of the Murder Squad. Walter Day is one such inspector that forms the new Murder Squad and he's been changing the approach to investigation ever since. At this point in the series, with The Devil's Workshop readers are fairly familiar with Day and his team, including constable Hammersmith and Doctor Kingsley; however, the team is put sorely to the test in the latest installment.

Following the escape of four murderers from prison, Day and the rest of the Yard are sent to investigate and recapture the criminals before they can do any further damage. One of these criminals will be recognized from book one. However, it soon becomes clear to Day and company that there is more behind the apparent escape, and in fact, appears to be well planned out and has unleashed Jack the Ripper once again. This conspiracy threatens the lives of Day, his team, and those closest to him, and it seems that the team may not make it out of this investigation unscathed.

In my opinion, The Devil's Workshop is the best of the series so far. It was, by far, the most suspenseful of the series, as the violence hits closer to home for Day. I simply could not put this one down, which made for a rather groggy day at work the following morning. I did not know how this one was going to end, and I was worried that the characters that I'd come to love would be harmed irreparably, and really, some of them are. But to answer which ones, well that would spoil the book. Go forth and read!

As for the characters, this is really what has kept me reading the series. Yes, the mystery is great, but I love Walter Day and Nevil Hammersmith. They make such a great team and I love getting glimpses into their personal lives. The author has done such an excellent job at combining mystery with fully developed characters. And Grecian's a master at multiple points of view; this has added so much to these mysteries. While character development is slow (because of all the action and mystery) it's what keeps me coming back; I want to know more about each of them. I can't wait to see what happens next for the Murder Squad considering the ending of this book. Changes are afoot and I hope this team can stay together. Only reading the next book will determine this.

The Devil's Workshop was a fantastic read. If you like character-driven mysteries, this would be the perfect choice for you. And if you haven't read the first two books in the series, I urge you to start at the beginning. These atmospheric novels are fantastic and worth the time spent reading.

Originally reviewed here.

aditurbo's review

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5.0

I devoured this book in about two days, holding my breath all the way with suspense. I loved the first book in the series, but thought the second one was a bit weaker. I'm glad to see that Grecian is back to form, creating some great characters and sweeping plot lines. Warning: There are many very gruesome scenes in this book, but what can you expect from a novel about Jack the Ripper and a few other murderers? It pulled me in right from the start, and I really needed to know that all of my favorite characters are going to make it out of it alive. I'm not going to tell you if they did.

smellbelle's review

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3.0

I love this series, I have a particular soft spot for Day and Hammersmith, but I agree with many other reviewers on this one. I found that there was too much violence that didn't add much into the plot, and not as much depth into our favourite detectives as in the first two novels. I also found the ending a little confusing and unnecessary. I hope there is another that goes back to the same pattern as the first two books, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

leialocks's review

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3.0

3/4ths of the way into this book, I thought I was going to have to break up with the Murder Squad. Most of the book is from the killer's perspective which I didn't care for, even if it was Jack the Ripper. There's a lot of inner dialogue trying to dissect why Jack did what he did. That's not the reason why I started this series. Nor, did I want to learn any more about Cinderhouse, who we heard enough of in the first book. There are hardly any scenes about Day or Hammersmith in the book. They seem like bystanders to the action for most of the book. At the big finish, it was tense and exciting. Boy, did it take a long time to set up the scene. The ending saved it for me. Well, there's a clit cliffhanger of sorts. So, I have to see what happens next.

krisrid's review

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2.0

I think this was a good story, but I couldn't finish it.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, and still enjoyed the second, although to a lesser degree. I love the Hammersmith and Day characters, as well as Doctor Kingsley & his daughter Fiona. The characters in this series are for me the best thing about it. The writing is also very strong and the stories the author has created are creative and very effectively and atmospherically recreate Victorian London.

My difficulty with this book, and the reason I had to stop reading it is kind of a factor of the strong writing, combined with the fact that I was listening to this on audiobook. The parts of the book where Jack the Ripper is speaking were incredibly creepy and disturbing and I was just too freaked out at what he was thinking and doing. If I were reading this rather than listening to it, I might have been able to skim the Jack first person parts, although it is a key part of the story, so I imagine I'd have missed some potentially important info.

This series and the writing is gritty and intense. That doesn't bother me. After all, that IS what Victorian London was like, and this is a period that I enjoy reading about usually. I really wanted to like this book, and most of the plot and characters I really did. It was just the creepy Jack parts that I simply could not handle. I was disappointed but I just couldn't get past that part, which was a fairly key part of the book.

The issue here was with me as opposed to with the book itself - it wasn't for me, but that doesn't mean it isn't a potentially good read for someone less squeamish than me. If you don't mind crime fiction that is on the disturbing side, and you like the Victorian London era, as well as well-written interesting characters this may be for you. Do start with the first book in the series though - The Yard.

si0bhan's review

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4.0

The third book in Alex Grecian’s Murder Squad series and another brilliant read. Once again we follow the story of our beloved characters as they deal with trouble in Victorian London. This time, however, they’re not digging to the bottom of a murder instead they are chasing criminals who have escaped from prison. Through this we see old and new villains alike as they try to avoid the Murder Squad and being sent back to prison.

I will admit that I was a bit put off by the notion of Jack the Ripper roaming the streets once more, as I especially loved this series as it occurred after Jack the Ripper was done with his crimes. However, that being said, I was not at all disappointed by what I was given. It was not entirely what I expected but it was a gripping read on that front, offering us an entertaining prospect with Jack returning to the streets of London and causing more havoc for the police. For anyone else who is tentative about this prospect know that we are not dealing with Jack roaming the streets killing off more females as we’re given a different insight into the life of the notorious killer, a very unique and interesting take on what happened.

Jack isn’t the only new character we are introduced to in this book. The mysterious Inspector March that Day has inspired to be like throughout the first two books makes an appearance here, allowing us to view the relationship between Day and the man he views as a mentor and father figure of sorts. There is also the reappearance of what some might deem beloved characters from the first book that may have missed during The Black Country.

Moreover, there seems to be more of an insight into the personal lives of characters – especially the lives of Walter and Claire Day – throughout. Whilst there isn’t as much Hammersmith and Doctor Kingsley action they both do appear to offer up their usual loveable idiosyncrasies and the chain of events surrounding them is especially interesting. Hammersmith in particular (although this may be a somewhat bias view as he quickly became my favourite character when reading the series) has an interesting story towards the end of the book which will leave you excited to see where things go in the future.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In fact, if the truth is to be known, I enjoyed it a lot more than I enjoyed The Black Country putting it almost on par with The Yard.

Any fans of the Murder Squad need to pick this up now!