Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nineteen Seventy-Seven, by David Peace

(hb; 2000: Book Two of the Yorkshire Quartet, aka the Riding Red Quartet)

From the back cover:

"1977 -- the year two sevens clash; the year of punk; the year of the Yorkshire Ripper and the Silver Jubilee.

". . . Nineteen Seventy-Seven, the second part of [David Peace's] Yorkshire Quartet is one long noir nightmare. Its heroes -- the half-way decent copper Bob Fraser and the burnt-out hack Jack Whitehead -- would be considered villains in most people's books. Fraser and Whitehead have one thing in common though, they're both desperate men dangerously in love with Chapeltown whores. And as the summer moves remorselessly towards the bonfires of Jubilee Night, the killings accelerate and it seems as if Fraser and Whitehead are the only men who suspect or care that there may be more than one killer at large. . ."


As in Nineteen Seventy-Four, a nihlistic, self-destructive bent runs through Peace's characters. For the most part, it's not as intense as Nineteen Seventy-Four, but it's still intense, with a finish that is at once thrilling and shocking.

Followed by Nineteen Eighty.

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