51ZBjJC54-L._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_Walter Day has been missing for a year, presumably taken by the infamous Jack the Ripper. Assumed dead and forgotten about by many, his wife, Claire and Nevil Hammersmith have not given up hope of finding him alive. Former police sergeant Hammersmith has, with the backing of Claire, set up a private detective agency to try to trace Day’s whereabouts but, a year later,  he is no nearer to solving the mystery. All that is about to change, however, when Jack reveals his true motive for the capture of Detective Day…

Lost and Gone Forever is the fifth of Alex Grecian’s Murder Squad books. After the shocking end of the previous book, The Harvest Man, I had eagerly anticipated finding out what would happen next in the lives of Walter Day and Nevil Hammersmith as I could see no way back for Walter – would he really be lost and gone forever? Thankfully, from the outset, we know that Walter is, indeed, alive, but it soon becomes apparent that this book is going to be quite different from the rest of the series. The initial relief turns to despair as you begin to wonder if he will ever be able to resume his previous life and you will him to return to his distraught family.

In Lost and Gone Forever, Alex Grecian has, again, painted a contrasting picture of London’s criminal classes compared to the wealth of the more well-to-do.  Mr and Mrs Parker are truly chilling characters, matched only by Jack the Ripper himself. It is also pleasing to see the strong roles given to the women in the series: Fiona Kingsley continues to please and the addition of Hetty as a colleague of Hammersmith shows how Victorian women were beginning to play more of a role in society.

Never one to shy away from controversy, the author throws in a massive curve-ball towards the end with the death of a much-loved character. Although this did not have the same shock factor as the conclusion of the previous book, it was, nevertheless, not something I saw coming.

In order to fully appreciate this book, reading the rest of the series is recommended. Hopefully, there will be a book six…

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