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Derek Raymond - book author

Aka Robin Cook.

Pen name for Robert William Arthur Cook. Born into privilege, Raymond attended Eton before completing his National Service. Raymond moved to France in the 50's before eventually returning to London in the 60's. His first book, 'Crust on its Uppers,' released in 1962 under his real name, was well-received but brought few sales. Moving through Italy he abandoned writing before returning to London. In 1984 he released the first of the Factory Series, 'He Died With His Eyes Open' under the name Derek Raymond. Following 'The Devil's Home On Leave' and 'How The Dead Live' he released his major work 'I Was Dora Suarez' in 1990. His memoirs were released as 'The Hidden Files'.

Derek Raymond is the author of books: He Died With His Eyes Open, The Devil's Home On Leave (Factory Series #2), I Was Dora Suarez, How the Dead Live, Dead Man Upright (Factory #5), A State of Denmark, The Crust On Its Uppers, Nightmare in the Street, The Hidden Files, Not Till The Red Fog Rises

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When a middle-aged alcoholic is found brutally battered to death on a roadside in West London, the case is assigned to a tough-talking cynic from the Department of Unexplained Deaths. Our narrator must piece together the history of his blighted existence and discover the agents of its cruel end. What he doesn’t expect is that digging for the truth will demand plenty of lying.
A man's corpse is discovered in a Rotherhithe warehouse, chopped up, boiled to avoid identification, and bundled into five Waitrose carrier bags. Our nameless narrator from A14 - the 'Unexplained Deaths' division of the Met - is put on the case. Operating, as usual, with his wit and sheer nerve in place of adequate resources and contacts, the narrator's investigations uncover much more than the murderer. As he probes a world of horror in South London, a terrible secret from his own past emerges. 'A bizarre mixture of Chandleresque elegance... and naked brutality' Daily Telegraph 'Hellishly bleak and moving' New Statesman 'Superb... an English Chandler... only better' Daily Mail

An ax-wielding psychopath cares young Dora Suarez into pieces. On the same night in London, a firearm blows the top off the head of Felix Roatta, part-owner of the seedy Parallel Club. The unnamed narrator, a police sergeant, becomes fixated on Dora and is determined to solve her murder. Then a photo links Suarez to Roatta, and inquiries at the club reveal how vile and inhuman exploitation can become.

Derek Raymond’s real name was Robin Cook. He died in London in 1994.

This, the third novel in the Factory Series, sees Raymond's nameless detective leave London for a remote village called Thornhill, where he's meant to be looking into the disappearance of a local doctor's wife. How The Dead Live is a haunting, fantastical novel, with a hellish country house at its centre; a mystery with little interest in the mystery, a police procedural with almost no procedure. Instead, and as ever with Raymond, it's a brilliantly unsettling investigation into love and damnation. This is life seen from the very bottom of the bottle - a fitting succesor to classic noir writers such as Jim Thompson and David Goodis.
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.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
England is ruled by Jobling, a dictator with an efficient secret police and a long memory. Richard Watt used all his journalistic talents to expose Jobling before he came to power. Now, in exile in Italy, Watt cultivates his vineyards. His rural idyll is shattered by the arrival of an emissary from London. Derek Raymond's deft skill is to make all too plausible the transition to dictatorship in an England obsessed with ?looking after number one?. First published in 1970, A State of Denmark is a classic.
Those who search for brilliantly written mystery novels exchange the same few names when they meet— names unknown (except for Chandler and Hammett) to general literary readers. If you’re one of those seekers you know Derek Raymond, author of bleak yet intriguing, compellingly narrated novels of murder in England. Raymond’s forgotten first novel, The Crust on Its Uppers is a great oddity.—Puncture

Derek Raymond was born in 1931. His novels include How the Dead Live, I Was Dora Suarez, and A State of Denmark, also published by Serpent’s Tail. Derek Raymond died in 1995.

“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.
In 1960 Derek Raymond (aka Robin Cook), "an upper-class wide-boy", made front-page news when a Rubens and a Renoir disappeared. This autobiography by the Fifties wide-boy and amateur art-dealer, Sixties mainstream novelist and Eighties crime-writer, reflects the contradictions in his personality - a mixture of bleakness and urbanity, black despair and courteous generosity. These are the memoirs of a natural writer - one whose behaviour at times is reminiscent of the computer on which he writes, and its array of hidden files that hold the functions which make it the subtle and flexible machine that it is. Like the computer, the writer's performance is judged on the final, visible quality of his output, rather than the obscure, cryptic processes that contributed to it. The book represents an attempt to break the codes and gain access to the author's personality. Derek Raymond's books include the series of four "Factory" crime novels.
Gust is on parole after a ten year stretch for armed robbery. He needs money and gets involved in what appears to be a straightforward scam, but soon realizes that he is out of his depth. Adrift in the seedy Soho demi-monde, Gust doesn't know where to turn.