Friday, 12 July 2013

1974 by David Peace

"I grabbed my notebook and bolted out of the car, scrambling up the embankment at the side of the motorway, crawling through the mud and bushes towards the fire and the noise; the noise, revving engines and the thunderous, continuous, banging of time itself being beaten out."

Unrelenting is the word that first comes to mind to describe this grim but amazingly paced crime novel. The tension is palpable as the reader is transported into a world of paranoia, murder, torture and one sordid event after another. The driving pace and mounting danger to the protagonist leaves you gripping the pages in anticipation and the litany of scatological references and sex crimes deepens the uneasy feeling in your stomach.

I feel somewhat wrong recommending such a violent and loveless book - the sex scenes alone are so devoid of any hope and quite miserable. That being said this is an amazing example of the genre and I'm certainly interested in exploring the rest of the Red Riding series, hopefully with some comedic relief in between.  5 out of 5 raw, grim, realism can be hard to swallow.

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