Tuesday, 29 September 2015

2 BY DEREK RAYMOND

2 from the man often referred to as the Godfather of British noir – Derek Raymond.

Raymond wrote 5 books in his Factory series starring an unnamed detective. (Not to be confused with Bill Pronzini’s Nameless!)

Factory
1. He Died with His Eyes Open (1976)
2. The Devil's Home on Leave (1985)
3. How the Dead Live (1986)
4. I Was Dora Suarez (1990)
5. Dead Man Upright (1993)







Over the course of his career there were about 8 or 9 other books, some initially seeing print under the name Robin Cook. Again not to be confused with the prolific author of medical type thrillers.

Derek Raymond died in 1994. I still haven’t read him yet.

There’s an interesting piece from 2013 in The New York Review of Books on a couple of the books and the series in general here. I’ve only skim read it in case it spoils things for me!

 

He Died With His Eyes Open (1976)

The first of the "Factory" series of bleak, atmospheric and subversive crime novels. A boozed-out tramp found under a bush in West London has been systematically butchered. The awesome depths of violent passion that the victim must have inspired fascinates the detective sergeant put on the case.











I Was Dora Suarez (1990)


One of the "Factory" series of bleak, atmospheric and subversive crime novels. Next door to the bloodied remains of London prostitute Dora Suarez lies the broken body of an 86-year-old widow, and a mile away the brains of a sleazy West End racketeer are found adorning the walls of his dining room.



Derek Raymond

26 comments:

  1. These sound like the kind of gritty novels you enjoy, Col. And I do like the setting for them. When I'm ready for a dose of the dark, I may have to check them out.

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    1. Definitely two doses of dark and probably five doses in total across the series. More me then shall we say an R. J. Harlick, but even so I think I need to be in a certain kind of mood before embarking on a book (or two like this).

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    1. Keishon 5 Col 0........ will you be reading any of his other stuff in the future?

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    2. I plan to read his autobiography, The Hidden Files, that's about it.

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    3. Okey doke...not sure if I have that, I don't think so, but I'll be sticking for now

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  3. Those are the 2 I've read - absolutely brilliant. The best British noir writer I've come across.

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    1. More high praise! Cheers Chris, happy reading ahead of me I think!

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  4. I've read a couple of them - not really my thing - but was thinking of him because I did a Guardian piece on titles from Hamlet, and he has a book called State of Denmark. Which I have not read.

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    1. I'm not sure if I have that one. Not found it yet anyway. I think a fair few of his titles received recent reissues. I think I had to hunt around to acquire my copies, years ago.

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  5. I'm pretty ceetain I read He Died With His Eyes Open at some stage, although I can't remember anything much about what's in it; it was the title that grabbed me. And I read one of his Robin Cook books, too, for the shameful reason that I thought I'd, er, pick up som3e mtal wallpaper at the library in the shape of a medical thriller, and . . .

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    1. Haha - I've nearly done that on a few occasions. There's a pulpish Charles Williams and a British author of the same name who was a theologian. I definitely don't want any books on spirituality on my shelves!

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  6. Read the first four years ago and liked lots. And just recently discovered there was a book five in the series. Of course I had to get it and there it sits on my stacks waiting it's turn. Hopefully soon.

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    1. Glen I hope you enjoy when you get there and I'm hoping you haven't gone from 1 straight to 5! You can't be planning on ignoring 2 to 4 can you?

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    2. Col, not to worry. I have read the first four. Just the fifth one left for me. And I bet you get to it first.

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    3. Doubtful, but I will try and read him next year.

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    4. Col, not to worry. I have read the first four. Just the fifth one left for me. And I bet you get to it first.

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  7. The UK author Charles Williams was one of the Inklings, along with CS Lewis and JRRRRRRRRR Tolkien. He wrote sort of wispy fantasies that I've always found unreadable. I got a couple of the other C Williams's books from the late lamented Munseys site, but I haven't read them yet.

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    1. There's 3 names I definitely won't be finding in the tubs. I'm guessing Munsey's hasn't reappeared then?

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  8. Just found a copy of HE DIED WITH HIS EYES OPEN, and will be diving into it soon.

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    1. Elgin, let us know how you get on with it.

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  9. He Died with His Eyes Open was one I had hoped to read this year, Col. I might still get to it. I am sure you will like these.

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  10. I hope you do Tracy. I think I'll like these when I get there.

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