The talent of David Peace is pretty well documented, but not in the mainstream. Which is a shame because in some ways he is a mainstream writer. Well, he writes crime novels and has written one about football. (Incidentally, the best sports book I have ever read as I documented here.)
This is firmly in the crime camp. But it’s not Rebus.
David Peace is a unique writer. His style is more aggressive than Mike Tyson on the downturn.
One sentence para’s.
And grizzly, basic, twisted, evil, some might say sick, uncompromising but utteerly compelling situations.
A plot more convoluted than the current US Democratic Primaries.
1974 is the first in a quartet of books, now known as the Yorkshire series. It’s set in Leeds, Wakefield, Huddersfield and other cities in the grim north. It is not inconsistent with the grim north America of Silence of The Lambs.
Centring around the story of rookie crime reporter Edward Dunford and the murder of a child (part of a serial killer series we are led to believe) it soon escalates into a full-blown corruption case.
Dunford, the masogynistic beer, whisky fag and sex overindulger soon finds himself way out of his depth in a world of property developers, rugby league stars, mediums and worst of all bent cops.
Rather than painting Dunford as the hero Peace makes him a hateful scumbag, and yet still maintains his heroic stance throughout the book.
I cannot think of a central character, of late, that so deflects your sympathy, and yet in at least small amounts, garners it. I can think of few writers that are so visceral and don’t, frankly, give a fuck.
This is a great book. But if you are in any way sensitive…avoid.
But for me, the best thing is I still have three books to read in the quartet , and this is apparently the safe one.
It’s a thrilling prospect.