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1979 (An Allie Burns Novel, 1) av Val…
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1979 (An Allie Burns Novel, 1) (utgåvan 2021)

av Val McDermid (Författare)

Serier: Allie Burns (1)

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447465,475 (3.9)1
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Allie Burns and Daniel Sullivan are colleagues at the Clarion, in Glasgow. Their first collaborative effort comes as the result of Danny delivering a baby on the Glasgow train. Allie writes the story up.

Their next story results from Danny realising that his own brother is working as a courier for a company which has put some tax evasion schemes in place. Joseph is obviously getting a kickback from the scheme. Eventually Danny and Allie investigate the scheme and their exposure results in a much higher profile for both of them at the Clarion.

But their next investigation is much more dangerous.

A very good read, as one would expect from a writer of McDermid's standing. ( )
  smik | Oct 13, 2021 |
Very good maybe a tad long
  MiriamL | Sep 22, 2021 |
I enjoy Val McDermid’s novels, especially her Inspector Karen Pirie series. Known for her crime fiction, this time she approaches it from the world of Scottish journalism in 1979. McDermid creates a good sense of time and place with colorful, interesting characters. The plot is solid and the tension builds throughout the story.

This is tagged as Allie Burns #1, so I look forward to the next one in this new series and seeing Allie grow as an investigative journalist ( )
  vkmarco | Sep 6, 2021 |
As a big fan of Val McDermid I wanted to like this novel more than I did. It isn't that 1979 is a weak novel, I think it is a very good glimpse of the period and sets up the rest of the series very well. I am just used to far more tension and edge-of-my-seat suspense, if not downright fear. So it is less about the quality of the book than about what I was expecting.

Having said that, I loved being transported back to that time period. McDermid mines her own experience as a journalist during this time to offer a fine look at what it was like, terminology and conversational phrases included. I found myself enjoying this aspect as much as the stories/cases that form the crime element of the novel.

While there will likely be other readers such as myself who come to the book expecting something grittier or darker, I think most readers will come away both invested in Allie Burns and curious to see where she is in ten years. As a first book in a seemingly very structured series I fully expect to look back on this book fondly after reading the rest of the installments.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley. ( )
  pomo58 | Sep 2, 2021 |
Val McDermid has been one of our most prolific crime novelists, and has now published more than forty books, including four series focusing on different protagonists. However, she has not allowed the sheer volume of her output to compromise its quality, and she is known for her watertight plots, finely drawn characters, and empathetic lead protagonists.

This novel marks the start of a new series, following Alison (“Allie”) Burns, a young reporter on a Glasgow-based newspaper. McDermid’s career also featured a period as a crime reporter, and her insights into the chauvinistic attitudes proliferating throughout the press corps in the late 1970s emerges very clearly. As the novel opens, Allie is on a train travelling back to Glasgow after her visit home for Christmas. She notices that a fellow passenger is Danny Sullivan, one of her colleagues from the paper. Having previously only had a nodding acquaintance, following an unusual incident on the journey, they become friends, and end up working together on a couple of major stories: one arising out of an investigation that Danny had been following in his own time for months, and the other from a lead and suspicion that Allie had allowed to ferment for a while.

I was just sixteen back in 1979, but remember it very clearly. Now it is most frequently thought of as following the ‘winter of discontent’ when the government, led by Jim Callaghan, was beset with strikes across much of the country, unemployment started to rise, and the economy was still fragile after the bailouts from the IMF. McDermid captures the feel of the time admirably, with casual references to the popular hits of the time, and the stilted fare available on television (just here channels back then, of course).

One of the big stories brewing at that time was the referendum in Scotland over the possibility of devolution. The Scottish National Party at that time had nine MPs in Westminster. While this is a mere fraction of their current parliamentary presence, at that time it marked the peak of their success, and was enough of a cabal to prove significant when the party withdrew its support for Callaghan’s government after the result of the referendum was announced.

The two principal journalistic stories develop powerfully as the novel progresses, and Allie in particular emerges as a very empathetic character I won’t say much more for fear of inadvertent spoilers, but I was very impressed with the book as a whole, and am looking forward to the next episodes in the series. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Sep 1, 2021 |
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