The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews and author interviews by clicking on the Books category link on the right side bar.
Lost And Gone Forever by Alex Grecian concludes the Murder Squad series. Set in Victorian England it brings to life Jack the Ripper and his ability to thwart capture. Readers should be forewarned that this story will be more understandable if the other two books are read in order.
Grecian noted to blackfive.net, “There was a real Murder Squad, similar to a homicide unit in America. I wanted to write about the best and most famous detectives in London’s history. I did this by changing names and dates. The Commissioner of Police at the Yard was a real person. Colonel Sir Edward Bradford was larger than life. He was an amazing man who led a remarkable life.”
Over the time span of the series many changes have occurred to the characters. All of them were interesting and multi-layered, including the antagonists. Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith lost his job and now has a private detective agency, devoting all his time to finding his friend and peer Detective Walter Day who has been MIA for over a year. His wife Claire has devoted her life to raising her children, finding Walter, and writing children’s stories; one of which is an outgrowth of the anxiety she feels about her missing husband. The wealthy men of the Karstphanomen, a secret society that attempted to use vigilante methods towards criminals, hired ruthless bounty hunters, Mr. and Mrs. Parker, to find and kill Jack the Ripper.
Although many readers may think Jack represents pure evil, Grecian does not see it that way and instead thinks he is “self-centered. It’s all about Jack. Anything that gets in his way he will get rid of without a second thought. Yet, occasionally he will do something nice, like when he saved Hammersmith’s life. I think he is a very complicated figure. He is not vulnerable in the least, because he never cares about anybody.”
This final installment has the devious, deranged, and deadly Jack the Ripper manipulating Day through torture and hypnosis. As the story begins this broken detective, just released by Jack, is now in a dazed and amnesiac state. Jack is attempting to use Day as his pawn as the Ripper finds retribution against those that caused him pain by killing the members off one by one.
An interesting aspect of the book is how Grecian centered the plot in Plumm’s Emporium Department Store, a la Harrods in London. He commented, “I wanted to make the coincidences realistic. This enabled me to use coincidence to help weave all the characters’ different stories together. I needed a place where lots of people would naturally congregate and cross paths. It also enabled me to show how the world changed with having everything a person needed in one place.”
Grecian also gave a heads up about his next book. It will be the first in a new contemporary series set in America. The police are hunting for a Nazi that has hidden in the US for over half a century. The series is based on a new character that hunts down war criminals, similar to Simon Wiesenthal.
Grecian has a knack for writing thrillers that are terrifying. He has no qualms in putting in scenes that are extremely gory. His plots always involve complicated characters that have fascinating backstories. Anyone wanting to sit on their edge of their seat should read the novel, Lost And Gone Forever.