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While the nameless detective always becomes deeply involved with the murders he sets out to solve, in this case, he actually falls in love with the journal writer, Dora Suarez. The presence of the writings of someone dead driving most or all of the book's narrative mirrors Raymond's approach in the first Factory novel, He Died with His Eyes Open. In that case, the victim was a writer, and the philosophical musings in his journal are a little easier to accept than the similarly lofty writing of Dora Suarez, who while not an uneducated person, would not seem quite capable of the writing Raymond attributes to her.

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But -- suppose for a minute that there isn't a journal at all, and this is just the nameless detective's inner psychodrama as he sets out to avenge a woman that he fell in love with the first time he saw her face? I'm not sure I really accept this interpretation, but it would also explain how the narrator describes in detail the killings that open the book, despite the killer not revealing that level of detail to anyone. This isn't a real problem with this book, however. It is part and parcel of how Raymond writes. The problem is that, when the nameless detective teams with another detective named Stevenson, who is investigating an apparently related murder, the two of them talk and talk and talk.

While a lot of this talk is interesting and grimly amusing , especially when they are threatening those they want evidence from, in the end they just talk way too much.


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This weakness is compounded by the happenstance way the killer ends up being found. Despite his leaving loads of evidence at the crime scene, in the form of various bodily Even within the semi-fantastic atmosphere that the Factory novels evoke, this is a serious shortcoming since it detracts from the inner logic that makes the first three books so intense.

A journey into the intestines of insanity

Nevertheless, in his conception and execution, Raymond is so much an outlier among writers of police novels, that this book and its predecessors are absolute must reads, particularly if you have grown tired of the staleness of much of the genre. They were what they could only be-joints of chilling, upset meat-and her bloodstained grin, the fixed, yet slack absence of her dark eyes were the worst of all sentences, the one that condemned a killer by looking past him.

Yes, something had gone wrong this time. Opening with one of the best starts I have seen, this forceful, flawed book takes the lid of those salacious tabloid headlines to the reality of evil underneath. A tale of a serial killer, a dying prostitute and an unnamed detective spiralling downwards in the tragedy of his loneliness.

It is a book made for impact, a book that veers from haunting description, ugly detail, harsh and ill fitting dialogue. It could easily be accused of being overwrought or of pushing the boundaries too far but as whole, as a messy whole it's much more that these failings. It bleeds honesty, a book that the author couldn't see clearly enough to write..

It was only after I had finished the book that I realized this; I was far too deeply involved in the battle with evil that the book became to think any further than that at the time Suarez was my atonement for fifty years' indifference to the miserable state of this world; it was a terrible journey through my own guilt, and through the guilt of others.

I Was Dora Suarez

It is also not a book for those who live for the puzzle as our narrator doesn't detect no time he swears, bullies and threatens his way to the truth and who needs a forensics team with this method? The book's faults could drive people crazy but it's not about a perfect crime tale. It doesn't matter that peripheral characters are thin, not that the dialogue is so lopsided you wonder if he is talking to himself in his insanity or that his constant rudeness is seriously over the top.

Flawed though it maybe, it deserves its iconic status and is a must for noir lovers but also for anyone who is interested in the writing craft bring strong stomach. Recommended I thought as I drove that even though I was too late to save her, if I could solve her death, I might make some contribution to the coming of a time when such a horror would no longer be possible, a time when society would no longer throw up monsters.


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Harder going than the previous books in the series, mainly because of the nature of the killer. Well written and not sensationalist in tone, it was still twisted - more so than The Devil's Home on Leave, which is also about a psychopath. I can't say I enjoyed it. It feels more like I endured it.

I Was Dora Suarez

This was not due to the language, even though the slang was tough at times and not due to the horror, which was pretty unspeakable. It was not even due to the fact that we never learn the name of our hero and that Mr. Raymond's unnamed etiolated paramour echoed the Continental Op. This novel has a sort of visceral surreal ennui which pervades the story and brings about a sense of dread and confusion. At any rate, Mr. Raymond constructs a challenging hard-boiled novel which entertains and horrifies but perhaps is not my cup of tea.

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    I Was Dora Suarez | Mulholland Books

    Seller Inventory A New Edition. Ships with Tracking Number! May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. May be ex-library. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory Derek Raymond. Publisher: Sphere , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title One of the "Factory" series of bleak, atmospheric and subversive crime novels.

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    Review : A sulphurous mixture of ferocious violence and high-flown philosophy. About AbeBooks. Other Popular Editions of the Same Title. Scribner, Hardcover. Abacus, Softcover. Search for all books with this author and title. Customers who bought this item also bought. Stock Image. Published by Sphere