The above from David Peace's 1983, similar to 80's punk poetry, encapsulates the grim atmosphere of his Red Riding Quartet (see my review of 1974 & 1977 here) Yorkshire in the early 1980's is depicted as a cold, grey corrupt hell, with its criminal police, murdered children and prostitutes, framed and tortured innocents and deeply flawed protagonists; where the only way out seems to be through religious redemption or suicide. It's a completely male world where the women are merely victims of violence and abuse; but there are no heroes, male or female in 1980 and 1983, only those with some ethics like top police man Peter Hunter from 1980, sent to investigate the incompetence of the West Yorkshire police dealing with the Ripper murders, or Big John Piggott from 1983, the fat and lonely solicitor, (the narrator of the above quote) who is representing the man framed by the Yorkshire cops for the child killings from 1974. The style of writing of both novels is terse and darkly poetic, first person narration with random inter-cuttings of images, thoughts, and snippets of songs, but runs at a breakneck speed, ending with the devastating denouement of 1983. Peace's style can be very confusing and I'm still not clear about parts of the plot, but 1980 and 1983 like the previous novels are page turning thrillers at heart, dark crime fiction at its best. But if you are looking for uplifting, cosy, escapist fiction, do not touch!
For a fascinating 'spiritual' interpretation of the Red Riding Quartet read Mark Fisher's (K-Punk) blog post: 'Can the World be as Sad as it Seems': David Peace and Negative Theodicy.