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Derek Raymond

About This Author
Derek Raymond was the pseudonym of Robert Cook, born in London in 1931. The son of a textile magnate, he dropped out of Eton and rejected a life of privilege for a life of underworld adventure, which included working for London’s notorious Kray Brothers’ crime syndicate. His writing about that world culminated in the five Factory novels now seen as landmarks in British fiction: He Died with His Eyes Open, The Devil’s Home on Leave, How the Dead Live, I Was Dora Suarez, and Dead Man Upright.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Derek Raymond was the pseudonym of Robert Cook, born in London in 1931. The son of a textile magnate, he dropped out of Eton and rejected a life of privilege for a life of underworld adventure, which included working for London’s notorious Kray Brothers’ crime syndicate. His writing about that world culminated in the five Factory novels now seen as landmarks in British fiction: He Died with His Eyes Open, The Devil’s Home on Leave, How the Dead Live, I Was Dora Suarez, and Dead Man Upright.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Books by thisAuthor
  • How the Dead Live

    How the Dead Live
    Can you murder for love? In the third novel of Derek Raymond's acclaimed Factory Series, the nameless detective visits a decrepit country house to look into the case of a disappeared woman. It is, as always for the Detective Sergeant, a deeply unsettling investigation of love and damnation. The woman's husband seems to love her entirely. And yet he seems reluctant to find her, preferring to hide in a house that resembles the set of a horror film. Meanwhile other cops are getting in the way of the Sergeant and he's making new enemies on the force. With growing desperation and his trademark sense of enraged compassion, the Sergeant fights to uncover a murderer not by following analytical procedure, but by doing the most idfficult thing of all: understanding why crimes are committed.

    He Died with His Eyes Open

    He Died with His Eyes Open
    As it turns out, a dead man can tell stories... Murders are a dime a dozen in Margaret Thatcher's London, and when it comes to the brutal killing of a middle-aged alcoholic found dumped outside of town, Scotland Yard has more important cases to deal with. Instead it's a job for the Department of Unexplained Deaths and its head Detective Sergeant. With only a box of cassette-tape diaries as evidence the rogue detective has no chouce but to listen to the haunting voice of the victim for clues to his gruesome end. The first book in Derek Raymond's acclaimed Factory Series is an unflinching yet deeply compassionate portrait of a city plagued by poverty and perversion, and a policeman who may be the only one who cares about the "people who don't matter and who never did."

    I Was Dora Suarez

    I Was Dora Suarez
    One of the most shocking crime novels of all time In what may be Derek Raymond’s most talked-about novel—indeed, in what may be one of the most talked about crime novels ever—the reader is immediately plunged into the horrific mind of one of the most brutally damaged and murderous killers the unnamed Sergeant has ever faced. But why the gentle Dora Suarez was murdered at all becomes the Sergeant’s obsession. As it turns out, she was already dying of AIDS. So why kill her? As the shocking details pile up, the fourth book in the series becomes a riveting and moving study of vile human exploitation and institutional corruption, and the valiant effort to persist against it.

    The Devil's Home on Leave

    The Devil's Home on Leave
    Which is worse: A psychopathic killer or murderous corruption? The second book in Derek Raymond's acclaimed Factory Series opens with the chilling discovery of a horribly butchered body abandoned in a warehouse by the Thames. It's obviously the work of a contract killer, but why would a professional leave the body for discovery? With his usual mix of cunning and nerve, the unnamed Detective Sergeant from the Unexplained Deaths Department stands up to both mobsters and his superiors to get to the truth. He soon finds himself engaged in a harrowing game of cat-and-mouse with a psychopathic murderer who seems to have ties to the highest levels of the British government. When one of his superiors warns him to back off, saying, "You'll always get the shitty end of the stick," he explains, "Maybe, but I think that's the end where the truth is."

  • Dead Man Upright

    Dead Man Upright
    Never before available in the U.S., the final episode in the Factory Series is another unrelenting investigation with the nameless detective into the black soul of Thatcher’s England. The fifth and final book in the author’s acclaimed Factory Series was published just after Derek Raymond’s death, and so didn’t get the kind of adulatory attention the previous four titles in the series got. The book has been unavailable for so long that many of Derek Raymond’s rabid fans aren’t even aware there is a fifth book. But Dead Man Upright may be the most psychologically probing book in the series. Unlike the others, it’s not so much an investigation into the identity of a killer, but a chase to catch him before he kills again. Meanwhile, the series’ hero—the nameless Sargent from the “Unexplained Deaths” department—is facing more obstacles in the department, due to severe budget cutbacks, than he’s ever faced before. However, this time, the Sargent knows the identity of the next victim of the serial killer in question. But even the Sargent’s brutally blunt way of speaking can’t convince the besotted victim, and he’s got to convince a colleague to go against orders and join him in the attempt to catch the killer... before it’s too late.

    A State of Denmark

    A State of Denmark
    “Raymond’s novel is rooted firmly in the dystopian vision of Orwell and Huxley, sharing their air of horrifying hopelessness.”—Sunday Times It is the 1960s. England has become a dictatorship, governed by a sly, ruthless politician called Jobling. All non-whites have been deported, The English Times is the only newspaper, and ordinary people live in dread of nightly curfews and secret police. Derek Raymond’s skill is to make all too plausible the transition from complacent democracy to dictatorship in a country preoccupied by consumerism and susceptible to media spin.

    Nightmare in the Street

    Nightmare in the Street
    “A legendary crime novelist.”—The Sunday Times   A plainclothes cop in Paris, Kleber is forty years old and devoted to his young wife, Elenya, a former prostitute whom he rescued from her pimp. He is embittered by twenty-two years on the streets, and his sleep is haunted by dreams of death. Kleber has many enemies, and only one friend: a criminal named Mark. When Kleber is suspended from the police force for punching a fellow officer, his underworld enemies seize their chance to get even.

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