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I Was Dora Suarez

(Factory Series #4)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  516 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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 inh

Hardcover, 192 pages
Published December 1990 by Scribners (first published 1990)
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3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  516 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inglese, noir
Non avrei mai creato personaggi tormentati o malvagi nei miei libri se non avessi dovuto io stesso lottare contro il male.

Compassióne s. f. [dal lat. tardo compassio –onis der. di compăti ‘compatire’, per calco del gr. συμπάϑεια]. – 1. Sentimento di pietà verso chi è infelice, verso i suoi dolori, le sue disgrazie, i suoi difetti; partecipazione alle sofferenze altrui. 2. In senso più prossimo all’etimologia, il patire insieme.

L’opera di Derek Raymond è come il lavoro in miniera: c
Anthony Vacca
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With one of the most hardcore opening chapters of any murder mystery I have ever read, I Was Dora Suarez is a disturbingly brilliant novel, and the strongest entry into Derek Raymond's Factory series since the soul-gutting first novel, He Died With His Eyes Open. In one night, an elderly woman is smashed face-first through a grandfather clock, a slimy club owner has most of his head painted across a wall and a mysterious beauty named Dora Suarez is mutilated and then molested by an insane axe-mu ...more
Manuel Antão
Dec 09, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1981
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Coagulating Disgust: "I Was Dora Suarez" by Derek Raymond

(Original Review, 1990-04-17)

“He produced a big 9mm Quickhammer automatic with the tired ease of a conjurer showing off to a few girls and shlacked one into the chamber. He told Roatta: ‘Now I want you nice and still while all this is going on, Felix, because you’re going to make a terrible lot of mess.’
Roatta immediately screamed: ‘Wait! Wait!’ but his eyes were brighter than he
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My sister gave me this book, with the preface that it was so disgustingly graphic that it allegedly made one of the publishers who read it vomit in his office. I wasn't sure about that, but it's listed under the book's lore on Wikipedia, so who knows? It's a bit like the tales of the paramedics who were called to screenings of the Exorcist (1973) because audiences were fainting in terror: whether these stories are true or not, it's good pub
Anina e gambette di pollo
Romanzo nero.
Però ... ne ho letti diversi (anche francesi e ovviamente americani), ma l'unico che mi viene in mente è Quel pasticciaccio brutto de Via Merulana. Solo per un particolare ... l'occhio pieno di triste pieta' del commissario nel vedere la vittima.

Già Derek si pone sempre dalla parte della vittima, di chi ha perso la battaglia, ma qui in modo particolare ogni ferita, ogni sevizia (e sono infinite) inflitta dagli uomini a Dora suscita nel sergente l'infinita pietà di un'innocenza perd
May 08, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night
I'd forgotten just how angry and exagerratedly single minded Derek Raymond's protagonist in The Factory series had become by the end of the third book. His recall to active duty at the Unsolved Murders Squad in this book that seems to be routinely referred to as his masterpiece only finds him angrier and more obsessed than ever before. The decidedly gruesome opening chapter as the serial killer goes to work on the titular victim with an axe could be enough to put most readers off of their dinner ...more
Nancy Oakes
I loved this book, as sick as it sounds (and is in some parts); it is, like his other novels in this series, so dark, so sad, so tragic, but I really do believe that Raymond excels here. Some of the best writing across the five Factory novels is found in this one book, but beware -- it will most definitely take a toll as you read.
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Il detective che piange nel sonno

“Mettete a nudo l'orrore; affrontatelo senza difese. Non nascondetevi, non fuggite, e troverete la pietà, anche se ha dovuto attraversare l'inferno”.

Il sarcastico e idealista detective di questo romanzo hard-boiled ha un passato difficile e tormentato, una vita privata segnata dalla follia e dal crimine ed è stato sospeso dal lavoro. Viene richiamato in servizio alla Factory per un caso efferato e crudele. La sua indagine, imprevedibile e ostinata, esplora un mon
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
”Che la pietà non vi rimanga in tasca”

Dora Suarez è ancora viva, giace immobile in una pozza di sangue sul pavimento di una vecchia stanza gelata. Il suo assassino non ha ancora finito, ne contempla il corpo martoriato, la spia, le bacia le ferite, gode il frutto marcio della sua ossessione.
Il quarto capitolo della saga della Factory è un viaggio nella follia di un serial killer che espia il massacro delle proprie vittime infliggendosi punizioni bestiali, cruente.
Il “Sergente senza nome” non h
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mandatory
Recommended to Still by: everyone

Extremely harrowing read.Possibly the best in the "Factory Series" but I wouldn't swear to it in a court of law.

For all that's righteous - please read this novel. But read the 1st 3 first.

Having been called back to A14 by the Deputy Commander known only as “the voice” but never actually seen by the DS in the entire series entries, the Detective Sergeant finds himself dropped in the middle of what will become the most heinous case in his entire career.

This case –what starts out as the investigati
Luca Lesi
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Devo confessare che il capitolo iniziale di questo libro è il più impressionante, forte, crudele ed efferato che abbia mai letto.
Giunge inaspettato , improvviso tanto da lasciare sconcertati e, dopo un attimo di smarrimento, resistendo all'idea di cambiare libro, si entra nella sconvolgente scena di un crimine in via svolgimento, impigliati nella testa di un assassino impazzito.
Un accenno di queste intense pagine iniziali Interrotto dalla vecchia, venuta a vedere che cosa stava succedendo nel
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europea
L'attacco è autenticamente bestiale. Si inizia in compagnia dell'assassino ed è una gran brutta compagnia, Dora Suarez viene fatta fuori con un'ascia e Betty, l'anziana che l'ospitava, finisce con la testa spaccata nell'orologio a pendolo. Giusto il tempo di bere un po' di sangue di Dora, assaggiarne un po' di carne, eiaculare e cagare, e l'assassino fatto trenta decide di far trentuno, esce dall'appartamento dove vivevano le due donne e si reca a casa di tal Felix Roatta, a un mezzo miglio da l ...more
Sep 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I Was Dora Suarez” is the fourth book in Derek Raymond's Factory series.

The Factory novels, nominal police procedurals are narrated by an unnamed protagonist, a sergeant at London's Metropolitan Police Department of Unexplained Deaths, also known as A14. A14 handles the lowlife murders which are in stark contrast to the headline-grabbing homicides handled by the prestigious Serious Crimes Division, better known as Scotland Yard.

After the relatively pedestrian third Factory novel, How the Dead
Sapete che piango quando dormo? Pensate che un uomo non ne sia capace?

Il mio nome era Dora Suarez di Derek Raymond è il quarto libro della serie dedicata alla Factory, la Sezione Delitti Irrisolti della Polizia Metropolitana di Londra. Ho qualche difficoltà a raccontarne le trama perché è uno dei libri più forti e truculenti che abbia mai letto. La follia di Raymond credo abbia raggiunto il suo apice con questo romanzo e alcune scene temo che mi tormenteranno per un bel po’!
La storia si apre co
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andy Weston
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dora Suarez and her elderly landlady are brutally murdered and Raymond's unnamed detective works to find the killer in a grim area of the Met Police called A14, known as The Factory. Superficially only, it is a police procedural, and nominally a mystery, but really it is about the victim and what brought them to their fate. The first chapter catapults the reader into the swirling, twisted mind of a psychopathic serial killer, with a sigh of relief when its over. There is only a certain amount of ...more
Alex Sarll
Almost certainly the grimmest book I have ever read. I managed to keep my lunch down, unlike the first publisher (who understandably rejected it after the manuscript drove him to lose his), but I can understand his reaction. Even compared to Raymond's other books, this goes so far into the blackness that among other things, it makes you realise quite what puerile, try-hard efforts a lot of 'dark' art represents.

You know how Wodehouse said “I believe there are two ways of writing novels. One is
Jul 05, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
This book is apparently considered the best of Derek Raymond's Factory series of philosophical-noir crime novels, and also the most repulsive. When Raymond's publisher first read it, he threw up on his desk, or so the story goes. While I don't know if that's true or just perverse marketing, I can certainly attest to the plausibility of that anecdote: Raymond went a bit crazypants with the gore on this one. Think American Psycho with more disease and bodily fluids.

To be fair, all the gross-out pa
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was an essay by Joyce Carol Oates some months ago in the New York Review of Books that drew my attention to the late Derek Raymond as one of the best “noir” crime novelists of the end of the last century, and the most Chandleresque British author. I had never heard about him until then. “I was Dora Suarez” was described as Raymond’s most terrible and also most poetic book which, I was warned, was definitely not for the queasy. There was also the story (maybe urban legend or a well-planned pub ...more
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biblioteca-2017
Questo libro è la personificazione dell'orrore, quell'orrore che ti contagia fin dalle prime righe, che ti raggela e ti fa sudare insieme.
Ma l'orrore non ferma il Sergente senza nome della A14, semmai ne amplifica l'umanità attraverso semplici gesti come una lieve carezza ad una mano abbandonata o un bacio su capelli che odorano ancora di shampoo alla mela. E c'è qualcosa di umido che bagna le sue guance: eh già... lacrime.

("Sapete che piango quando dormo? Pensate che un uomo non ne sia capace?"
Mar 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is the underlying humanity, not the much heralded brutality, that makes this book both effective and unique. While both brutal and often painfully descriptive, the strength of the book lies within Raymond's desire to find human connection within a bleak world.

The quality of the book as a whole is also remarkable in the fact that the book is incredibly sloppy. It isn't particularly well-plotted (about a third of the entire book is a rotating interrogation of a couple of side characters). There
Nigel Bird
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Madness is something I fear. I worry I have it, am nervous I might break down into complete madness or worry that those around me might suffer because of my thinking patterns. A long spell in therapy helped me out with this, but the unease still lingers.

This might help to explain why the opening passages of ‘I Was Dora Suarez’ were so difficult for me. Looked at another way, I’m entirely within normal parameters of human sanity and those chapters would be difficult for anyone. They may also be p
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
I AM DORA SUAREZ. (1990). Derek Raymond. **.
This is the fourth novel in Raymond’s factory novels, and represents a low point in the series. Raymond (1931-1994) is credited with being the pioneer of British noir. This is likely so, but his writing was extremely uneven. As he progressed through his novels, he seemed to believe that he could only maintain his readership through increasing doses of gore and insanity. He equated the noir genre with massive doses of insanity. In this novel, we find ou
Seán Rafferty
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-book, noir, favourites
'Noir' is probably too cheery a term for this bleak, unremittingly dark twisted novel.
Bang! what an opening. The first sentence with its irregular structure and violent almost comic image immediately unsettles the reader. We are once again in the world of Thatcher-era London policed by the unnamed detective. Raymond chooses to capture this world through bleak minimalist prose. His detective, though he uses Chandleresque dialogue, is also like an existential loner from Camus or Beckett. He uses s
Robert Carraher
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
“Don’t you see, the words sometimes take the place of tears?”
What if a true villain, a thoroughly evil psychopath, a man who already possessed a heart of darkness, who already scared evil men witless, then went mad? Fully and irredeemably insane. What depths of depravity, what inhumane crimes would he be capable of?

In I Was Dora Suarez, the fourth in Derek Raymond’s Factory Novels we find out.

Be warned. This novel is not for the squeamish. This novel made it’s publisher, who had already publishe
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-borrowed
Derek Raymond (aka Robin Cook) had a colorful life before he even turned to writing, ranging from selling lingerie to hanging out with the Beat poets in Paris, marrying an heiress for two months, smuggling paintings, driving fast cars, and getting jailed in Spain. Raymond wrote five books in the Factory series about a rude, obstinate unnamed sergeant in the Department of Unexplained Deaths. No one in the Department really wants him around and he thinks they are lazy and incompetent and uncaring. ...more
Touted as the 'godfather of the British noir novel (at least as quoted in this edition) I have to say, for me, he fell very far short. True, his detective almost matched Laidlaw for philosophy but while he thought in English he, and every other male in the book, spoke cod American which undermined much of the book. The gruesomeness, of which there was a lot, was unquestionably horrific.

Some reviewers said begin the series here and then read 1,2 and 3, other to read them in order. While glad to
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
The author is brutal in his descriptions of the crimes in the book, but I don't think it's done purely for shock value. The main victim in the book is made into a real character, which is different from most novels of this genre, and the relationship with the investigating officer is very interesting.
Connor Coyne
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The nastiest, filthiest noir out there. "Derek Raymond" doesn't fuck around. This will leave you feeling dirty, awful, and slightly more in touch with the wretched world.
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After the third novel's low point, this one was back on track with the same despair and pungent beauty, the same poetry that weaves through the grime and grit.
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(SEMI-SPOILER ALERT) What exactly is... 2 11 Nov 06, 2013 08:54AM  
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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 returni

Other books in the series

Factory Series (5 books)
  • He Died With His Eyes Open
  • The Devil's Home On Leave (Factory Series #2)
  • How the Dead Live
  • Dead Man Upright (Factory #5)
“As soon as he was half-awake he slipped his knickers off. Holding them close to his face, he handled them loosely for a moment with an absent expression, then suddenly buried his nose in them, his dark eyes huge, his face monstrous with the wisdom of evil. As well as the blood and the seepage from last night's ejaculation he had shit himself lavishly in his sleep, a sloppy, yellow liquid. Having spent a while burying his face in them, he folded the knickers up and put them carefully to one side on top of a stack of others. He would never wash them; he would never wear them again. Every secretion that had occurred in his underclothes, before, during, or sometimes just after a moment of action was a souvenir to be preciously kept and safeguarded.” 1 likes
“He still didn't believe we could do it to him, and left with the assured insolence of a credit card presenting itself at the thin mouth of hell.” 0 likes
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