A Place to Read

1979 by Val McDermid Book Review

I thought 1979 sounded interesting after reading Sarah’s review.

1979 book cover by Val McDermid
11 hours and 6 minutes
Val McDermid
Katie Leung
Whispersync for Voice
Audible.co.uk Release Date
19 August 2021
W. F. Howes Ltd
Program Type

The Blurb of 1979

The first in a thrilling new series from the queen of crime and an instant Sunday Times best seller narrated by acclaimed Scottish actress and Harry Potter star Katie Leung.

The shadows hide a deadly story….

1979. It is the winter of discontent, and reporter Allie Burns is chasing her first big scoop. There are few women in the newsroom, and she needs something explosive for the boys’ club to take her seriously. Soon Allie and fellow journalist Danny Sullivan are exposing the criminal underbelly of respectable Scotland. They risk making powerful enemies – and Allie won’t stop there. When she discovers a home-grown terrorist threat, Allie comes up with a plan to infiltrate the group and make her name. But she’s a woman in a man’s world…and putting a foot wrong could be fatal.

My Review of 1979

This is the first in a series of books and I do think I’d be happy to read more. Set in Scotland, Allie Burns is one of the few female reporters for a small newspaper and expected to write ‘women’s stories.’ But she wants more and after teaming up with Danny Sullivan they decide they want a bigger scoop and become budding detectives.

I love the setting, it really was a man’s world in 1979. But there were many more twists in this story. Starting with scooping a big fraud group story they then move on to terrorists. They don’t seem to realise just how dangerous the world they are exposing is. Investigative journalism is a risky business and it’s Danny that takes the most risks while Allie writes up their findings.

There were a few things I didn’t see coming and as the plot thickens it becomes a real page turner. It keeps you on the edge of your seat.

If I had one gripe it would be the narrator. Katie Leung was fine until she started to do the accents. I’d have rather just listened to her voice telling the story, her Scottish lull voice was nice to listen to. The accents were a bit iffy at times, I do get that people like to add characterisation but this was a little off for me. I’m still going to listen to the next book though.

I listened to 1979 on Audible but you can also buy the books from most good book shops. Or even your local library.

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9 thoughts on “1979 by Val McDermid Book Review”

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed 1979 and are going to move onto 1989. I got very frustrated with Allie and Danny for not realising how much danger they were in, but that’s seeing 1979 through all we know from living in 2024.
    What a shame that the narration wasn’t so good.

    1. It wasn’t a bad narration, just her accents were quite off putting. It was hard to imagine a hardened thug with a squeaky voice. I really enjoyed the story though.

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