Thursday, December 31, 2009

Peace, 1974

With this post, I hit a dozen for the year. I'm writing more of a monthly review than a blog, so I'll live with that.

To correspond with the holiday season, I read a grisly, feverish Yorkshire crime novel set in the same time of year, 35 years ago. 1974 is David Peace's first novel, published a decade ago. Eddie Dunford, crime reporter, investigates a gruesome child murder -- and links it back to other disappearances of children and ongoing civic and police corruption. The book is harrowing and includes a long, torturous scene where Dunford is tortured by the police.

The prose is elliptical and fast, a little reminiscent of some of James Ellroy's writing. Peace (pictured) maintains a frenetic momentum, strong voice, and dour tone. The book's shortcomings emerge in the plotting and a way over-the-top finale -- Heironymous Bosh does North England. Peace has an understandable cult following, though I would've liked the end to be reined in a bit. I might still pick up one of his subsequent books. For now, I'm back to reading Pelecanos.

1 comment:

Evan Lewis said...

Peace, 2010 to you, Doug.