A Place to Read

1989 By Val McDermid, book review

After enjoying reading 1979 I decided to delve straight into 1989, the second Allie Burns novel from Val McDermid.

By: Val McDermid
Narrated by: Katie Leung
Series: Allie Burns Series, Book 2
Length: 11 hrs and 54 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 27-10-22
Language: English
Publisher: W. F. Howes Ltd.

The Blurb of 1989

It’s 1989, and Allie Burns is back.

Older and maybe wiser, she’s running the northern news operation of the Sunday Globe, chafing at losing her role in investigative journalism and at the descent into the gutter of the UK tabloid media.

But there’s plenty to keep her occupied. The year begins with the memorial service to the victims of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, but Allie has barely filed her copy when she stumbles over a story about HIV/AIDS that will shock her into a major change of direction.

The world of newspapers is undergoing a revolution, there’s skulduggery in the medical research labs and there are seismic rumblings behind the Iron Curtain. When kidnap and murder are added to this potent mix, Allie is forced to question all her old certainties.

My Review of 1989

I remember 1989 very well, surely it wasn’t that long ago! I can relate to all of the things that happen in this story, the lingering struggle with the AIDs pandemic, the music, Hillsborough. I actually caught my breath when Allie was sent to report on what was happening at the football ground.

The story itself was complicated but gripping and a real page turner. Allie is now 10 years on and living with Rhona in Manchester where they are more accepted as a couple than in Scotland. But Why are so many HIV patients coming down from Scotland, of course Allie has to investigate because she loves to get to the bottom of a story. This leads her to Germany and she helps a couple across the German border in return for the story.

Then her boss’ daughter, Genevieve is kidnapped in Germany. Of course Allie is straight onto the case and tacks her down.

With an apparent suicide of the newspaper editor and her boss, Allie once again is investigating the truth but will she publish what she finds.

There seems to be so much going on during this book it can seem over complicated at times and hard to keep track. Allie Burns certainly leads an exciting life. I found myself taken straight back to 1989. I will be looking forward to 1999 next. Another year I remember well.

Just one more thing, as I’m a huge fan of the late Sir Terry Pratchett I was thrilled to see Allie Burns pick up his Carpe Jugulum book to read. It was published in 1989, and it made me check out Val McDermid who is not a fan of fantasy, unless it’s written by Terry Pratchett.

I listened to the book on Audible and it was the same narrator as 1979, Katie Leung. I wasn’t impressed with her reading of 1979, but this book seemed better as she got to grips with different accents and made the book more enjoyable to listen to.

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6 thoughts on “1989 By Val McDermid, book review”

  1. It’s an interesting concept – write from the point of view of a specific year and time. It sounds like a good series.

  2. It’s definitely another exciting read! I was impressed with the way she’d woven events like Hillsborough into the story. And how lovely for you that Terry Pratchett got a mention. I’m glad to hear the narrator did a better job this time round.
    I’m really hoping 1999 will be published this year.

  3. This sounds like a good read. I like stories that take us back, obviously we ladies here aren’t old enough to go back too far in time. Well, that’s what I keep telling myself. xxx

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