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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This is the third volume of the "Red Riding" quartet and the best so far. We pick-up the story of the "Yorkshire Ripper" three years after the last volume. Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) Peter Hunter is brought in to try and make some sense of the (now) seven year killing spree. The local cops are no closer to catching the 'Ripper' than they have been since the beginning. Hunter is brought in ostensibly to create a "Brain Trust" to review all the cases and determine whether any leads were missed and whether the local 'lads' are doing the best job they can.

In reality, Hunter has been brought in to find out if there is a cover-up and that the locals are some how involved in some of the murders. Hunter and his group are resented by the 'locals' from the beginning and he gets the feeling that he's being stonewalled and misdirected from the start. When a good friend of his ends up being the subject of an 'investigation' and then Hunter becomes the subject of an 'inquiry', things begin to happen.

Then someone burns Hunters house down. The "Ripper" is captured, but he says that three of the murders, "belong to the other guy". 'The other guy' is the one who has been sending the tapes and letters. So who is the 'other guy' and is 'he' really 'them', and are they now after Hunter?
The third volume ends with a 'bang' but we don't know if it's a metaphor or a shotgun blast. Stay tuned for 1983.

Zeb Kantrowitz
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
If you are thinking of reading this novel, the chances are you have already read the first two novels in the Red Riding Quartet: Nineteen Seventy-Four: The Red Riding Quartet, Book One (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) and Nineteen Seventy-Seven: The Red Riding Quartet, Book Two (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard). They do have many interweaving characters and this book will make little sense if you have not read those before, but if you have then rest assured that this is every bit as dark and atmospheric as the earlier books.

The third in the quartet has Assistant Chief Constable Peter Hunter asked to head a taskforce to look into the Ripper investigation. It is, as the football fans ironically cheer at games, "Ripper 13, police 0" and Hunter handpicks his team with care. George Oldham, meanwhile, has no idea he is to be replaced in a case which has become intensely personal for him and, it is fair to say, that Peter Hunter's contibution is not welcomed by the local force.

Peter Hunter is a man who already has a personal interest in the case and whose garden shed is covered with photo's of the Ripper's victims. As his wife suffers miscarriage after miscarriage and the terrible loss of being childless weighs on her, the author cleverly conveys the way the desire for a child can take over your life. Hunter himself feels he has made himself a bargain - if he stops the Ripper, they will have a child. Meanwhile, this is set in December 1980 - the news is dominated by the murder of John Lennon, of terrorist hostages and Thatcher. Driving back and forth between Leeds and Bradford, Hunter drives over the moors, imagining the victims of the Moors Murders. Crime fiction doesn't come much darker than this.

As Hunter begins his investigation, names appear from previous books that you will be familiar with, including Jack Whitehead and murder victims such as Janice Ryan, which earlier characters felt were not committed by the Ripper. Suddenly, the body count is rising and Peter Hunter finds himself being turned upon by those who should be aiding his investigation. It is hard to see how the author could make this gritty series any harsher, but I look forward to reading the finale in the final book Nineteen Eight-three: The Red Riding Quartet, Book Four (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard). For those who like their crime books firmly set in reality, this sordid and violent tale of police corruption and murder will surely hit the mark.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2010
Book three of the Red Riding Quartet.

David Peace is really doing something amazing with this series. I felt that there was something in this book that I was missing. I didn't figure it out until earlier this week when I was about 100 pages away from the end of the book.

*****SPOILER START********
The serial killer, who is the focus of the story, does not kill anyone in this book. The police discuss his crimes, but the only people killed during the time frame of the book are murdered by the corrupt police force to cover up their crimes.
*****END SPOILER******

This book centers on Peter Hunter, a clean cop brought in to form a team of outsiders to rework the Yorkshire Ripper case. He's also asked to look into anything else he sees in the Yorkshire police force.

Having read the two previous books I knew things would not end well for Peter. And yeah, the stuff does hit the fan.

I'm really enjoying Peace's writing style. Almost like James Ellroy, but different enough to not be a clone. This book was very dialogue heavy, and that made it a pretty fast read.

I'm going to move on and start Nineteen Eighty-Three today. I don't remember the last time I read four books in a row by the same author. This is new territory for me.
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on September 7, 2011
This book mixes fact and fiction and follows the fortunes of a policeman in the hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper, a maniac who killed at least 13 women in the north of England between the mid-1970s and 1980.

It is presented in a breathless style - much of it in dialogue with lots of stream of consciousness, swear words, nightmares, flashbacks, song lyrics, tape recordings, italics and CAPITAL LETTERS just in case you don't get the point that this is a rollercoaster ride we are on.

The story is made more complicated by the fact that the policeman has been brought in from Manchester to investigate the inept performance of the Yorkshire police who have not only failed to catch the killer but been led on a wild goose chase by the infamous hoax tape by a man who claimed to be the Ripper*.

Some of the Yorkshire police are also seen to be corrupt as well as incompetent and the hunt for the Ripper is taking place amidst mistrust and hatred among the police themselves.

As if that was not enough, our hero's attempts to become a father have come to nothing and his wife is in a desperate state after suffering a series of miscarriages.

The whole novel is set in grimy place like Leeds, Wakefield and Manchester as the hero drives backwards and forwards across the Moors (where, of course, the infamous murders carried out by Ian Brady and Mira Hindley in the 1960s occurred). On top of that, it is always raining or snowing, cold and dark.

The bodies of the murdered victims, mainly prostitutes, pile up and are described in horrific detail. Other murders and suicides also feature just in case the reader feels cheated of corpses.

This book is not exactly light reading. I thought it went over the top but this is the style the author has adopted in several other books sets covering real events in the same way, including the miners' strike of 1984.

Having said that, it is good to see a writer trying to set a new style and be different.

* I am not sure if the Yorkshire Ripper case was given wide publicity in the US but American readers who are not familiar with it can find lots of information on the Internet.
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on November 13, 2010
I just finished reading this book last night and I am blown away by this
book series. Each book is better than the last one and continues to build
on the story and the tension. The world Peace has created in this series
is full of predators and victims but seems to be devoid of any heroes.

There is one line on page 246 of the book that just breaks my heart;

"and they say there is no greater pain than to remember in our present grief
past happiness but e will tell you the greatest pain is to remember in our
present grief past grief and only grief"

I will be reading book four in the series directly and I will be reading all
of David Peace's work that I can get my hands on!
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on October 17, 2014
I bought all four books in this series after viewing the British films that I enjoyed. The books were a disappointment. None of the characters are very sympathetic and the female characters are very broadly written and not treated well by any of the male characters. Plus the plot is often hard to follow. I say skip the books and find the three British films based on the books.
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on August 5, 2013
This is the 3rd blook in the Red Riding quartet, which starts with 1974 and picks up every three years after. The quartet revolves around police corruption in Yorkshire where, as one of the bent policemen says: 'this is the North and we do what we want'. Starting with 1974 and the search for several young missing girls, it moves on to the time when the area was terrified by the Yorkshire Ripper, who mainly killed prostitutes. There's a question of whether some of the women killed were vicitims of the Ripper or of corrupt policemen trying to cover their behavior. Newspaper reports, priests, crooked cops and honest ones all get sucked into a vortex of corruption that boggles the mind. Families are descimated, a woman is raped by police officers in front of her husband before he dies. If only a small percentage of what these novels portray are true, it must have been a horrible experience to be picked up by the police. The corruption is so complete, so deep that the police are operating their own pornography empire with prostitution and porn magazines and rationalize that they are 'comtaining' it by controlling it. They aid and abet local businessmen in their pursuit of money and get their fingers in all the pies, including local builders putting up an indoor mall.

I have to admit that sometimes the ethereal quality of the writing made it difficult to follow the action and sometimes it required a second reading (as well as watching the films that were based on the books). Despite that the books were compelling and even when the actions were horrifying, it was impossible to put down. It's worth the time and trouble to read them; no question they're challenging. But they're also beautifully written.
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on January 8, 2011
The Red Riding Quartet are some of the most mesmerizing, thrilling accounts of crime and vicious behavior in Northern England I have ever read. They are brutal, viscious and enthralling. I could not put a book down until the end and then on to another. Not for everyone but I was totally engaged.
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on July 9, 2015
Third book in the Red Riding Series. Starting to see where the author is coming from. Not really one of those books you can't put down because of the style of writing sort of read a couple of chapters and pick up a day later. Ok but am reading to see what the ending is in book 4
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on November 15, 2013
I typed pages of character lists and still couldn't keep characters or plot or resolution straight. The least clear of an unclear series.
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