Well I guess I know what a British James Ellroy would read like.
The only other book I read of David Peace’s is his fun and hilarious soccer send-up The Damned Utd., which was the basis for a fun and hilarious soccer movie. I tried Red or Dead but found it’s repetition too cloying and it’s 600+ pages too daunting. Still, I think he’s a talented writer. It took me several tries to get into this one; I had to get used to his writing voice. But I’m glad I did because this is a wild noir.
I love journalism fiction and conspiracy pieces so you throw those in with a murder mystery and I’m hooked. Reading this felt like driving high speed with a maniac; I was desperately trying to keep up with all of the characters and plot points, sussing some out while others went over my head. But the overarching mystery was interesting and it was different to see it played out through the eyes of a crime journalist, albeit one that I don’t think is good at his job.
I was enjoying the book so much that the first 3/4ths of it were pure 5-star but it comes off the rails too much near the end. Peace loses the plot thread a little and the journo goes from being a writer to basically a police officer/vigilante. I was hoping for a more compelling look into the limits of institutional journalism against bigger, corrupt institutional powers and it seems like Peace got bored of that and decided to turn the book into a Parker novel.
But I still enjoyed the ride, wild though it was. I don’t know who I’d recommend this too but I feel like fans of Ellroy might enjoy it.