Re: RARA-AVIS: David Peace

From: Luci Davin (
Date: 05 May 2003

I haven't read the books and don't know a huge amount about him, but I have bought 2 or 3 of them and am intending to try them, although there is something which puts me off starting. The books are set in my hometown, Leeds in the north of England, where there was a particularly infamous serial killer case, the Yorkshire Ripper, and this is in some way the inspiration of the novels. I grew up with the backdrop of that case, though I only remember being really conscious about the last murder which was close to where my father lived and of a student. I'm always very wary of reading serial killer novels and usually only pick them up if I feel I know something about the author. There was a lot of media attention throughout the case but with variations in tone according to whether the victims were prostitutes or apparently respectable. The police actually interviewed Peter Sutcliffe, later convicted of being the Yorkshire Ripper, several times.

I bought these because they're set in my hometown and inspired by something I know about. I'm put off reading them for the same reasons.

I heard David Peace speak at Crime Scene a couple of years ago - I think he cited Jilly Cooper as one of the authors he enjoyed reading when he was younger along with more predictable hardboiled crime writers. I may search out my writeup from then and see if there's any more info!


>> I came across two books by David Peace, British author:
'Nineteen Seventy Four' (1999) and 'Nineteen Seventy Seven'(2001), both part of his 'Red Riding Quartet'. I'm not sure about the two that follow in the series (1980 and 1983).

It's a kind of crime chronicle for West Yorkshire (Northern part of England). The style is somewhat under Ellroy influence, but we could say that some of the moods and point of views are close to Derek Raymond's approach.

I know very little about David Peace: he's British (originated from WY, of course) and apparently he lives now in Japan. I probably overlooked the information available about this writer, but I do not remember anything more. Could somebody of R-A give a hand?


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