Nineteen Seventy-four

Nineteen Seventy-four
David Peace

Despite the time-stamped title, the first installment of the Red Riding Quartet doesn’t feel like a true period piece. The background music is the main indicator that we’re in the disco era. That said, this is a quick and bloody noir import that juggles all the traditional elements deftly, even if it doesn’t sort them out very tidily. The nightmare quality, pace, and telegraphic prose (not as overdone as it would become in Peace’s later work) go a long way toward redeeming what is an otherwise over-the-top plot that, in typical noir fashion, does more to test the hero’s impressive physical resilience than his crime-solving prowess.