Devil's Workshop

Title: The Devil’s Workshop (The Murder Squad #3)

Author: Alex Grecian

Narrator: John Curless

Published: May 20, 2014 by Penguin Audio

Genre: Mystery

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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London, 1890. Four vicious murderers have escaped from prison, part of a plan gone terribly wrong, and now it is up to Walter Day, Nevil Hammersmith, and the rest of Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad to hunt down the convicts before the men can resume their bloody spree. But they might already be too late. The killers have retribution in mind, and one of them is heading straight toward a member of the Murder Squad, and his family.

And that isn’t even the worst of it. During the escape, the killers have stumbled upon the location of another notorious murderer, one thought gone for good but now prepared to join forces with them.

Jack the Ripper is loose in London once more.

I’ve mentioned before that my ratings are entirely subjective. It’s my reaction to the book. I feel like a 2 is perhaps unfair to The Devil’s Workshop, but really I didn’t enjoy for several reasons. I’ve read the other two in the series and enjoyed them well enough, especially the first, but this one just didn’t work for me.

Day and Hammersmith are still good as partners. They’re determined, dogged, and upstanding. They’re determined to do the right thing, even when it’s not necessarily the easiest. And Hammersmith seems to be unkillable.

If I had read more reviews or spoilers I may have known to skip this one.

Things I didn’t like –

1. Jack the Ripper – really? Couldn’t we have a new bad guy, not one who’s been written and re-written a million times? It just annoyed me.

2. Day’s wife Claire has her babies in this one. Not only was she annoying, but I really don’t want to read about labor.

3. I didn’t quite buy into the whole vigilante group setting the prisoners free just to torture them more. The prisons then were not exactly nice places. On the other hand, people in any time period can be nuts.

This is a bit more gory than most mysteries I read, but that didn’t really bother me. I don’t know that it’s really a mystery, more a thriller. We know who the killers are already and the other bad guy is pretty obvious from the beginning.

I will say John Curless did an excellent job as reader. He kept the characters separate and there were several longer dialogues that he kept interesting and moving along. I felt like he read it as it was meant to be read, melodrama and all. I probably wouldn’t have finished it if it had been in print instead of audio.

But even though I didn’t like this one, it was more problems with plot rather than writing or character development, so I’ll probably give the next one a chance, maybe.