Nineteen Seventy-Four

David Peace, Author Vintage Books USA $15 (295p) ISBN 978-0-307-45508-6
The first volume in Peace's Red Riding Quartet, a grim whodunit noir, will remind many of the bleak, violent work of James Ellroy. In 1974, Eddie Dunford has just been named crime correspondent for the Yorkshire Post. His first major assignment coincides with the death of his father, but his professional ambitions trump his family obligations. The case he's covering involves the disappearance of 10-year-old Clare Kemplay. When Dunford's digging unearths some similar unsolved cases, neither his editor nor the police welcome his efforts. After Kemplay's strangled and mutilated corpse turns up, an unknown source supplies Dunford with leads suggesting that some prominent officials and businessmen may be implicated in the crime. The staccato, choppy prose is a perfect mechanism for conveying Dunford's frenetic approach to his life and work. Peace (Tokyo Year Zero) doesn't pull any punches, and his uncompromising portrayal of his dark and conflicted protagonist will appeal to those who like their mean streets to be really mean.
Reviewed on: 02/09/2009
Release date: 02/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
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