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Nineteen Seventy-Seven: The Red Riding Quartet, Book Two (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) Paperback – May 5, 2009
First in a new series from bestselling author and famed O. J. Simpson trial prosecutor Marcia Clark, a “terrific writer and storyteller” (James Patterson). Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
In this novel Peace raises his work a notch. He has produced one of the finest British crime novels of recent years, and in his quartet of novels looks set to produce one of the finest series since Ellroy's Dudley Smith novels.
The narrative in Nineteen Seventy Seven focuses on two characters, Jack Whitehead, a journalist; and Bob Fraser, a police sergeant. Both characters appeared in Nineteen Seventy Four. Both are haunted by the shocking conclusion to the earlier novel. Their stories are set against the backdrop of the Sutcliffe murders, and the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
Each strand is written in first person narrative, and for the most part the plot lines run parallel, although Fraser and Whitehead meet and exchange information. There are some stylistic similarities between the two strands (both have astream of consciousness feel) but for the most part the characters are sufficiently differentiated. While the strands run parallel there are some similarities in their development. For example, both are, or become, involved with prostitutes at a time when those prostitutes in West Yorkshire feared for their lives due to the Sutcliffe murders.Read more ›
The "Ripper's" MO is to knock them out with blows to the head from a ball-peen hammer, and then he attacks their bodies with a philips screw- driver. Both men are involved with prostitute, as it seems is half of the police constabulary of Leeds and surrounding town where the murders occur. Fraser's is an ongoing relationship that is tangential to many of the murders and assaults that have occurred. Whitehead gets involved with one of the woman who survived the assault.
We are taken through the grisly murders and the abuse of suspects by both the police and at times, each other. If that sounds confusing, try reading the book. Peace has a very strange style to say the lease. He has each of his two narrators (Fraser and Whitehead) speak in the first person, and sometimes it's two or three pages before you can tell who's speaking. At other places he writes as train of thought (by the character) and you have a paragraph(?) that can run for pages without a period. Reading some parts of the book is like running, you can actually feel your heart rate speed-up. Quite the book.
Read it yourself and determine your own opinion.
We are back in the seventies and it is the time of the Yorkshire Ripper. Bob Fraser is assigned to the squad investigating the Ripper murders, sent to see whether an earlier murder could be tied in to the case. Clare Strachan was murdered, but a link is unearthed to the murders in 1974, causing old nightmares to return in this almost surreal rampage around the North of England. Driving through the dark landscape, mentions of the Moors Murderers make a dark story even harsher, alongside Jack's visions of murdered women in his room and Bob Fraser's obsession with a prostitute he fears being killed, but is unable to protect. Again we have police corruption, scenes of interrogations which turn into torture, fear and darkness. Having said that, I can't wait to read the next book Nineteen Eighty (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard); they are thoroughly unpleasant and utterly compelling.
I reviewed 1974 and gave it two stars. 1977 would get one-half a star if I could manage it. Perhaps the author's intent is to progressively make this series more bleak and more depressing as the calendar races forward through the years. He expands his stream of consciousness style by use of dream sequences that allows him to create ever more bizarre images. Throughout, of course, he clutters the text with streams of the F word from every character with no apparent purpose.
I have no plans to visit Leeds or Yorkshire but now have plans to avoid the place at all costs. Everyone these is several bricks shy of a full load and full of vice and delusion. The ending of the book brought me, finally, to use the F word myself. Just when I thought things couldn't get worse, David Peace proved me wrong.
Why did I finish these books, books I find so distasteful? Good question. I have no answer other than a curiosity much like someone dissecting a pig in a Biology class.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Like the first book, hard to get into and not really a page turning read. Though the historical aspect of it, The Yorkshire Ripper, makes me want to finish the Trilogy ie 1984.Published 11 months ago by Gary McCullough
I've just finished reading this for the second time and can't recommend it, (or the other 3 in the quartet), highly enough. Read morePublished 21 months ago by MR M.
it made me want to scream in rage and frustration, depending on which character was in the forefront. Read morePublished on March 30, 2014 by Matthew
This book has a very interesting plot but the stream of consciousness style makes it a bit hard to follow at times. Read morePublished on March 26, 2013 by Avid reader in Illinois
I found this book almost impossible to put down. The second book in Peace's Red Riding
series is a dark, disturbing, wonderful work of crime fiction. Read more
Talk about dark and ugly. This whole series is out on the edge. No happy endings here. The stream of concinsense writing style may or may not be your cup of tea. Read morePublished on May 27, 2010 by Mark M. Hargus
I thought Nineteen Seventy-Four was bleak, but Nineteen Seventy-Seven made that book look like Dr. Seuss. Read morePublished on April 1, 2010 by Douglas Hahner
Nineteen Seventy Seven is the second book in David Peace's Red Riding Quartet who's stories revolve during or around the Yorkshire Serial Murder investigation. Read morePublished on March 7, 2010 by Jason Bean