I Was Dora Suarez
By Derek Raymond
(Melville International Crime, Paperback, 9781935554608, 208pp.)
Publication Date: October 4, 2011
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
Categories: Mystery & Detective - General
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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.
Derek Raymond was the pseudonym of British writer Robert Cook, who was 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 adventure. He traveled the world, living in Paris at the Beat Hotel and on New York’s seedy Lower East Side, smuggled artworks into Amsterdam, and spent time in a Spanish prison for publicly making fun of Franco. Finally, he landed back in London, working in the lower echelons of the Kray Brothers’ crime syndicate laundering money, organizing illegal gambling, and setting up insurance scams. He eventually took to writing—first as a pornographer, but then as an increasingly serious novelist, writing about the desperate characters and experiences he’d known in London’s underground. His work culminated in the Factory novels, landmarks that have led many to consider him the founding father of British noir. He died in London in 1993.
Praise for I Was Dora Suarez
“Everything about I Was Dora Suarez shrieks of the joy and pain of going too far.”
—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
"I Was Dora Suarez blew me away - beyond hard boiled."
Praise for Derek Raymond's Factory Series
"Unrelenting existentialist noir—as if the most brutal of crime fictions had been recast by Sartre, Camus, or Ionesco while retaining something of the intimate wise-guy tone of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett."
—Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Review of Books
"It’s one of the darkest and most surrealistically hard-boiled things I’ve ever read. The detective is at least as scary as the murderers he’s chasing."
—William Gibson, bestselling author of Neuromancer
"No one claiming interest in literature truly written from the edge of human experience, no one wondering at the limits of the crime novel and of literature itself, can overlook these extraordinary books."
—James Sallis, author of Drive
"The Factory novels are certainly the most viscerally imagined of their kind that I've ever read, or reread multiple times. Derek Raymond wrote in a supposedly escapist genre in a manner that precluded any hope of escape."
—Scott Phillips, bestselling author of The Ice Harvest
"There remains no finer writing – crime or otherwise – about the state of Britain."
—David Peace, author of "The Red Riding Quartet."
"Carve Derek Raymond’s name into the literary pantheon. He is one of the rare authors who seek to understand evil, ferret out the darkness in human nature, and blast Noir fiction out of the genre ghetto and into Literature. His nameless detective's quest through the bleak streets gets under your skin. Amazing, painful and brilliant."
—Cara Black, bestselling author of Murder at the Lanterne Rouge
"More Chandleresque than Chandler... [Raymond] could write beautifully...and, more importantly, what he is writing about in this novel are nothing less than the important subjects any writer can deal with: mortality and death."
"I cannot think of another writer so obsessed with the skull beneath the skin."
—The Times (London)
“A crackerjack of a crime novel, unafraid to face the reality of man’s and woman’s evil.”
"The beautiful, ruthless simplicity of the Factory novels is that Raymond rewrites the basic ethos of the classic detective novel."
—Charles Taylor, The Nation
"A bizarre mixture of Chandleresque elegance... and naked brutality"
—The Daily Telegraph
"Hellishly bleak and moving."
“Powerful and mesmerizing.... With spare, often lyrical prose, Raymond digs beneath society’s civilized veneer...”