The Russian Admiral Alexander Durov is tired of seeing his beloved country treated as a second-rate nation by the Western powers, and he has devised a plan to correct that. He will need a distraction and control of his nation's armed forces. Computer hackers and a new automated trading system on Wall Street will help with the first, along with a suspicious disaster at sea, blamed on the United States. His own submarines will give him the second.
Newly-minted captain of the USS Toledo, Joe Glass finds himself rescuing the crew of a stranded Russian sub, which puts him squarely in Durov's way. It means he's a target, but since he's commanding a United States nuclear submarine, he's a target that can shoot back.
Wallace and Keith write some excellent marine combat and some good action scenes with a team of Navy SEALS infiltrating Russian territory. But when they're out of the water, they're out of their element. The high finance espionage is pretty clumsily plotted (the bastion of capitalism, Wall Street, is going to go for a computer system called OptiMarx?) and more clumsily written. There are a good half-dozen references to a character looking at his or her drink of "amber liquid" (twice beer, the rest of the times Scotch) and a female character has "luscious white thighs" and "incredible orbs" (if you know what I mean and I think you do).
If you skip the corporate espionage segments, you have a decent sub thriller -- a shorter but much better book.
In the days after Jack the Ripper had made his name known in London and eluded capture, the citizens had little use for the detectives of Scotland Yard. When one of those detectives turns up murdered, they know they must solve it if they are to have any chance of regaining public trust. But Walter Day, the Murder Squad's newest investigator, has been assigned to the case. And his reliance on the newfangled forensic techniques introduced by Dr. Benjamin Kingsley, such as fingerprint matching, doesn't inspire much hope among the Squad.
Grecian may or may not write true Victorian English dialogue, but he does and excellent job of writing what years of watching Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce have trained us to think is Victorian English dialogue. He sets the scene of London's foggy streets and alleys, and of the Squad's enormous task in solving the mysteries represented by even a handful of the thousands of dead bodies that wash ashore on the Thames. It's all pretty lightweight, but it's also plenty of fun for an afternoon.
Some action sequences read like Grecian is still relying on an illustrator to make clear what he's writing, but for the most part The Yard us a decent start on what may prove to be a fine series of yarns.