Self-proclaimed bibliophile, culture nut and nerdfighter. English lit. and linguistics geek. Future career in publishing.
Note: The review below was taken directly from my Goodreads account.
Nineteen Eighty is, like its predecessor Nineteen Seventy-Seven, about the Yorkshire Ripper case. This time, our protagonist is Det. Peter Hunter from Manchester who is assigned to investigate the investigation while at the same time investigating the Ripper murders. Peter is probably the first and only clean cop that we get to see; every other cop is at least a little bit skewed morally, if not ethically.
This book follows in the same vein as Peace's previous books in the series: very film noir mood and tone, repetitious style of writing, etc; so if it feels like I'm repeating myself in these reviews it's because Peace does it himself. They are very much consistent with each other in terms of mood, tone, style and every other technical facet of the novel.
The nice part about this novel is that we finally get a cop who is on the straight and narrow. I don't think any other series or events have ever made me more suspicious of local law enforcement than these books. It was a blessing to get Peter Hunter as someone who believes in upholding the law and not bending it to his gain, or even just to feel assured that he wasn't beating up gypsies, taking bribes or raping prostitutes (which we have so far seen) because he's actually a nice dude. But that altogether made it even harder when his life got turned upside down and he had his breakdown (because you know that this is the way Peace always plays out these novels).
The bad part is that Peace took away the clever pre-chapter bits from the radio show and replaced them with pre-chapter bits that are literally an entire block of nonstop tiny writing that after the first one I couldn't be bothered to read. I suppose it was meant to add to the mood, but with no punctuation it seemed irrelevant and a waste of my time.