Affordable Access

When the two sevens clash: David Peace’s crime fiction as ‘occult history’

Publication Date
  • V147 Modern History 1950-1999
  • V214 English History
  • Q300 English Studies
  • P304 Electronic Media Studies
  • Q322 English Literature By Author
  • Political Science


This paper focuses upon David Peace’s crime writing, specifically the sequence known as the Red Riding Quartet, four novels published between 1999 and 2002 which deal with police and press investigations of murders and sex crimes in the North of England in the period from 1974 to 1983. I reflect upon Peace’s claim that these books constitute an ‘occult history’ of the North. I explore this claim through discussion of one of the novels in particular, 'Nineteen Seventy-Seven'. It is in this novel that the ‘occult’ in ‘occult history’ unfolds most fully. I argue that Peace’s novel can be understood in the context of social and cultural developments in our increasingly digitalized and ‘semio-capitalist’ (Berardi) life in the twenty-first century. In my final section I will bring to bear some Deleuzian concepts to better frame Peace’s significance and ‘occult’ modus operandi.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.