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I Was Dora Suarez (Factory Series #4)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  411 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews

“Everything about I Was Dora Suarez shrieks of the joy and pain of going too far.”—The New York Times

"For those who want some truly dark noir that will make most wince, you won't find a much darker ride through the human condition than this one."—

An ax-wielding psychopath cares young Dora Suarez into pieces. On the same night in London, a firearm blows the top

Paperback, 216 pages
Published September 5th 1990 by Ballantine Books (first published 1990)
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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
Nenia *The Flagrant Liberal* Campbell

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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
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
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir, inglese
Non avrei mai creato personaggi tormentati o malvagi nei miei libri se non avessi dovuto io stesso lottare contro il male.
L’opera di Derek Raymond è come il lavoro in miniera: ci si sporca, non solo le mani - per scrivere di assassini bassifondi delitti soprusi povertà….ha conosciuto, vissuto, frequentato assassini bassifondi delitti soprusi povertà…
(Da qui si capisce bene il suo odio per Agatha Christie.)

Di lui si dice che dopo aver lasciato il castello di famiglia nel Kent, e quin
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
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
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
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
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Robert Carraher
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Barry Graham
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Derek Raymond never seems to rise far above the ground, but he never goes deep underground either. Invisible to the cultural mainstream, he's rarely out of print for long.

Almost two decades after his death, Melville House has published all five of his "Factory series" or "black novels" in the U.S. Mulholland Books' website has a remembrance of Raymond by his friend Maxim Jakubowski, and the Los Angeles Times will soon publish a fine essay on Raymond's life and work by Patrick Millikin.

I ordered

Primero, se debe hacer una advertencia: esta novela es cruda, cruel, llena de palabras soeces y despectivas. Puede herir susceptibilidades, revolver estómagos y provocar no querer seguir leyendo. Cuentan que el editor usual de las novelas de Raymond, cuando éste le pasó el manuscrito, vomitó al leer el primer capítulo y se negó a publicarlo. Sin embargo, a pesar de lo grotesco y repulsivo, el autor sabe profundizar en las motivaciones, la mente profunda, las ganas de vivir, las relaciones
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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?"
Michael Flick
Jul 05, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: worst
This, the 4th book (of 5) in Derek Raymond’s “Factory Series,” is the weakest yet.

The story is told in the voice of 3 narrators: the diaries of the murdered Dora Sanchez, inside the murderer’s mind as imagined by the nameless Detective Sergeant, and the first-person nameless Detective Sergeant himself (he narrates all the books in the series).

The diary entries are weak and unconvincing; they don’t read like diary in any way. The writing does not come up to near the level of the tape monologues o
Guy Salvidge
Again I'm torn. On one hand this is extremely unruly. This is the fourth and most famous of Raymond's Factory novels and it does live up to its reputation as being particularly depraved in subject matter. On the other hand, quite unusually for modern crime fiction, there are no shades of grey here at all. There is our righteous detective and then there are villains. So even though the subject matter of this novel (three people killed by an awful serial killer, one with an axe) is brutal, Raymond ...more
David C.
I read all of the Factory series after seeing a review of He Died With His Eyes Open on NPR's website.

This book was disturbing in parts, and while I appreciated the Inspector's sidekick, the interrogation scenes were entirely too long. The Inspector, for what seemed to be the entire middle third of the book, was mired in a Kafkaesque struggle against his department and his persons of interest. Page after page of repetitive futility began to drag on me.

(view spoiler)
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
Dead John Williams
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-favs, reviewed
I was Dora Suarez by Derek Raymond I've given this book 5 Stars as credit not only to the book itself but to its place in the history of the novel.
Whatever accolade is given to the author for inventing "British Noire" you cannot doubt its depravity. It makes Quentin Tarantino look like the colourful, stylistic cinematic event that he is. This is black and white in your face and very gritty. The main character is the unnamed detective who moves from metaphysical musings to a kind of sentimental
Dom Evans
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aunque se supone que este es el más conocido de la serie The Factory, para mí el mejor sigue siendo He died with his eyes open; además, The devil's home on leave tiene una escena del crimen más fuerte y terrorífica que en este libro, aunque Dora Suarez y el asesino son personajes algo más interesante. Hubo momentos en que el detective (nunca sabemos su nombre) y sus pensamientos no me hicieron ningún sentido. Pero también es cierto que en cada historia se ha ido volviendo un poco más loco, menos ...more
Gardy (Elisa G)
Più che essere disturbata dal livello di violenza e di splatter presente nel quarto (e più celebre) volume della serie "Factory", mi ha negativamente colpita l'arroganza e il prevaricazionismo del Sergente.

Raymond, con me hai fallito: più che un poliziotto alla disperata ricerca della verità cont ... (continua)

Più che essere disturbata dal livello di violenza e di splatter presente nel quarto (e più celebre) volume della serie "Factory", mi ha negativamente colpita l'arroganza e il prevaricazion
May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ergreifende Verzweiflung in einer abgestumpften Welt. Ein namenloses emotionales Wrack als Protagonist, ein Killer der so langweilig wie brutal ist. Empathie mit dem Opfer bis zur psychischen Kapitulation des Ermittlers, der auch noch vom Rest der Kollegen für seine Menschlichkeit bestraft wird. Wieder die Technik des Tagebuchs um die Perspektive des Opfers zeigen zu können. Einzig die Verhörszenen sind ein bisschen wie Battle-Rap indem sie Gewalt, Folter und Schlafentzug nur ankündigen. Damit w ...more
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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
More about Derek Raymond...

Other Books in the Series

Factory Series (5 books)
  • He Died With His Eyes Open
  • The Devil's Home on Leave
  • 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
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