Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 6:05 AM

  • Share:
             
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

‘The Devil’s Workshop’: dark crimes in Victorian times

“The Devil’s Workshop” by Alex Grecian, a dark and absorbing novel about a series of vicious murders in Victorian England, works as a police procedural as well as historical fiction.


Sun Sentinel

advertising

‘The Devil’s Workshop’

by Alex Grecian

Putnam, 400 pp., $26.95

The 1890s were a heady time for Scotland Yard, with its move into bigger headquarters to accommodate its expanded force. Investigations began to look at psychological motives of crime and recognized the value of the emerging science of forensics.

Victorian times and crimes provide an evocative and intriguing backdrop for Alex Grecian’s series about Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad and its tight-knit detectives. “The Devil’s Workshop,” Grecian’s third novel, works well as a police procedural as well as historical fiction steeped in fact and myth of the period.

A planned train derailment outside a London prison allows several vicious murderers to escape during the chaos. Inspector Walter Day and the other detectives immediately are on the case, knowing that one of the first things these convicts will do is kill again. Walter especially is worried about his pregnant wife, Claire, because one of the murderers knows where he lives. The Scotland Yard detectives are joined by several retired inspectors, including Adrian March, who was Walter’s mentor. While the priority is capturing the escaped prisoners, the detectives also follow a chilling trail to find out who was behind the train wreck.

“The Devil’s Workshop” takes the detectives to darkened alleys, subterranean prisons and regular neighborhoods. The shadow of Jack the Ripper, whose Whitechapel atrocities are still fresh in the detectives’ thoughts, permeates the plot without overwhelming the gripping story.

Grecian delivers a realistic and frightening look at violence during Victorian England in “The Devil’s Workshop.”



Free 4-week trial, then $99 a year for unlimited seattletimes.com access. Try it now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

The Seattle Times Historical Archives

Browse our newspaper page archives from 1900-1984

Autos news and research

New 3-wheelers merge fun and safety

New 3-wheelers merge fun and safety


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►