Nineteen Eighty-Three by David Peace*****

Reading dates: 02 July – 05 Aug 2015

Sometimes, while reading the Red Riding Quartet (of which Nineteen Eighty-Three is the last book), I thought I would not make it. The intensity of that narrative made me get up and pace the room, uttering ‘fuck!’. It is relentless, dark and brilliant, but it messed and manipulated me, a little like Lars von Trier’s films do.

The last volume is as well written as the rest, with three alternating narrators telling the story mostly in first, second and third person. Quite an achievement. In addition, the novel has the added pressure of having to wrap up all the threads weaved, and to do so in a satisfactory way. Often, this is where crime novels fail. David Peace does it well and by that I mean he does not overdo it. When reading the last 10% of the book, I often though ‘but, of course!’ when a detail, unexplained in Nineteen Seventy Four, was revealed. The quartet is a masterpiece, no question, a set I will be re-reading and studying with care when I get to write my own crime novel. Many out there are ok, but this is genius.