1980 by David Peace

January 9th, 2011 Posted in 52 Books in one year challenge, Crime, Fiction, Kelly

1980 by David Peace1980 surprised me in one way: the protagonist, Peter Hunter, is likable. He’s not perfect, but he’s the closest to be a good guy yet in the Red Riding Quartet.

The novel begins when Hunter, a “clean” cop, is brought in from Manchester to review the Yorkshire Ripper case and offer a new perspective. He’s distrusted from the start, as he’s been brought to Yorkshire before to investigate police officers.

Like everyone who’s come into contact with the murders in this series, he’s caught into the tangled web of Yorkshire police corruption, and his life crumbles around him.  Meanwhile, the Yorkshire Ripper still lurks in the shadows, preying upon women.

1980 clarifies a few plot points brought up in the previous novels, and shows how the past is misinterpreted, hidden, or covered up with seemingly malicious intent. Like the rest of the series, the novel’s filled of imagery of rot and decay, and full of racism, sexism, corruption, police brutality, and sexual violence towards women.

The writing moves along at a furious pace, and passages and sentences are repeated, like echoes. I look forward to the final installment of this series—1983—and am interested to see how the quartet will be pulled together. (For example, maybe I’ll find out if Eddie Dunford from 1974 is actually dead.)

Reviewed by: Kelly

Novel: 1980
Author: David Peace
Read: January 2011
Source: Public Library

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