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To the North!! Beware!!!!
on 23 May 2009
I just finished reading the final book in the series and felt compelled to write ( for the first time ) a review of the books. Opinion seems divided amongst other reviewers regarding these books and I can understand why.
The setting for the book Yorkshire is constructed to appear a bleak, desolate landscape, hell on earth (I'm sure isn't as bad as Mr Peace makes out). This bleak landscape is continued through the books and is a fundamental and engaging part of the stories.
The characters are vivid and multi-layered,best decribed as anti-heroes. As you would expect with a series,a large number of characters are involved yet with most of them, very little is ever learned, apart from the fact everyone appears corrupt. This is a shame. There is an engaging quality to them and a need to more but this never comes. Their pasts, their motives etc,these explanations never materialise and I personally found this unrewarding.
The staccato writing style has been mentioned by several other reviewers,some praise some criticise. I would definately say it's a different and an original approach to anything else I have read of late, so far that I praise the author. Yet, the repetitive and cut and paste style does start to irritate.If you like James Ellroy,you'll be on familiar ground here but infinately it's style lacks some substance, I did start to skim through some sections trying to get to the main points and revelations in the story.
The storylines do move along at a fast pace. It's all cloak and daggers stuff,hints and secrets are slowly unravelled in the series. Story and character revelations are drawn out but you do start to feel there's alot of filler here with a storyline buried in there somewhere.
There is however something deeply compelling about the storyline. There is a need to know more, who is responsible for the murders and the abuse that take place and a need to know what is their ultimate fate. I cannot deny the books keep your attention, such is your need for answers. Yet in the end, the books failed to deliver anything near a satisfactory ending. Too many loose ends and too many unanswered questions. I feel ultimately disapointed, the final book with it's interweving storylines sets it up for the big ending and then it fails to deliver. So so disappointed. A pity.