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The Devil's Home On Leave

(Factory Series #2)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  470 ratings  ·  69 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 19th 2007 by Serpent's Tail (first published 1985)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  470 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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Jul 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night, lit
"Where I go, the ghosts go. I go where the evil is."

The second instalment in Derek Raymond's seminal five part British Noir series, The Factory may not be as bleak as the first part, He Died With His Eyes Open but what it lacks in existential anguish it makes up for in grisly, disturbing and seedy depictions of England in 1984, a particularly gruesome crime and a fascinating yet insane villain.

It's been a buzz term for a few years now thanks to David Cameron but if ever the words Broken
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm going to have to do this in installments time being what it is which is of course ...relentless.

This is the second book in the Unnamed Detective Sergeant series aka The Factory Novels.

"It's called the Factory by the villains because it has a bad reputation for doing suspects over in the interrogation rooms ...We call it the Factory, too: but if you want to know, it's the big modern, concrete police station that controls the West End north to Tottenham Court Road, south to Hyde Park Corner,
Nancy Oakes
Sep 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
like a 3.7 bumped up

Not my favorite in the series (I wasn't in love with the direction the plot led), but still amazingly good for what's around the plot.

May 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Bowman: If you will stay a sergeant you'll always get the shitty end of the stick.

Sergeant: Maybe, but I think that's where the truth is.

This is the second novel I have read by Derek Raymond (born Robin Cook in 1931, and who died in London in 1994).

Derek Raymond was the son of a textile magnate, he dropped out of Eton aged sixteen and was employed at various times as a pornographer, organiser of illegal gambling, money launderer, pig-slaughterer and minicab driver. Much of this work experience
Charles Dee Mitchell
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
This is what Derek Raymond's unnamed investigator from A14, the "unexplained deaths" division of London's Metropolitan Police Force, knows. He knows that Billy McGruder is almost certainly the psychopath who murdered the as yet unidentified man whose body, gutted, minus his upper teeth and jaw, with his body parts boiled to remove fingerprints and identifying marks, has been found stapled into seven Waycross plastic shopping bags and left in an abandoned warehouse near the Thames. He also knows ...more
Graham P
Feb 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You know you're in for an unusual dark ride when the first victim in this UK crime novel is found boiled, severed into pieces and carefully sealed in five separate bags. Unorthodox methods, in the action as well as Raymond's narrative approach to the crime genre, are what make The Factory novels stand out so boldly. These are not cozy tea-time mysteries set in the countryside. Agatha Christie fans may want to look elsewhere, and if they decide to visit Raymond's UK, they may want to bring their ...more
May 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
Maybe I'm just in a bad mood, but I didn't dig this as much as the first one.
Marcus Wilson
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-thrillers
A mans corpse is discovered dismembered and stapled up in carrier bags in a London Warehouse. The case is assigned to Derek Raymonds nameless investigator from A14, the unexplained deaths division of the Met, who uncovers a political conspiracy behind the murder of a grass.

This is good stuff, Raymond trawls through low life London like an English Chandler, delivering a great crime noir with strong characters and some surprising twists.
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Although I’m not a big fan of the way Derek Raymond writes villains (I think he projects too much sentiment on their characters and leaves little room for pathos), I enjoyed this one almost as much as He Died With His Eyes Open. Raymond gets deep into the depressing environment of Thatcher’s London and comes back with a vivid portrait of what bad circumstances do to human behavior.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More of a standard procedural than the first in the series, but still dark and uncompromising. A fucked-up protagonist (the unnamed Detective Sergeant), great villains, and snappy dialogue. My favorite parts were the chapters dealing with the Detective Sergeant's past. Sad, gritty stuff, poetic in its utter despair.
"I choked on my grief behind the windscreen as soon as I was alone, a vague face among other faces in other cars in the heavy traffic. Oh, Edie, Edie, and you the same woman who,
Oct 23, 2009 rated it liked it
This bleak and brutal police procedural offers a compulsively seedy portrayal of criminal London. A grisly find in Rotherhithe leads to a murder mystery which spirals to include suspects and victims from all walks of society. It has an interesting detective and a really chilling portrayal of a psychopath, but I just found the whole thing too unremitting.

Chandler’s name is the one invoked on the jacket, and whereas some lines – “She was a hard-looking woman in her thirties with about as much pity
Jul 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Who the hell needs a coherent story when you read something so very stylish and authentic, violent, noir-ish, hard-boiled (police brutality in the 20th chapter!), with such an interesting hero protagonist and totally insane villain?

It has to be said it's also extremely morbid, bleak and disturbing so I wouldn't recommend it to everyone. But to me it was total thrill, I simply couldn't stop reading it!

More here (review includes spoilers!):
Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
This one's even stronger than the first Factory novel. The voice of the unnamed narrator becomes imbedded in your head, and his devotion to solving the murders of even those no one else cares about contains some subtle societal critique. Awesome stuff. On to the next one!
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Even better than the first in the series, maybe.
Joe Kraus
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: hardboiled-noir
I lost track of the number of times I double-checked to be sure this book is a sequel to Raymond’s He Died with His Eyes Open. Goodreads, Google, and Wikipedia all agree, but I don’t see it.

He Died with His Eyes Open is the first in the Factory Series – books about an unnamed detective in London’s Department of Unexplained Deaths (aka “The Factory”) – and it’s brilliant. James Sallis touted the series as one of his formative influences, and you can see elements of this detective in the otherwise
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: genre-fiction
Great hard-boiled stuff. The second book in the Factory Series featuring a nameless detective didn't disappoint. The first in Raymond's series, "He Died With His Eyes Open," is one of my favorite books, not just in crime, but in all genres. Raymond brought philosophy into a genre that was usually very structured and straight-forward which I admired.

"The Devil's Home On Leave" follows a more complex case and a more gruesome crime. The reader starts to learn about the detective, and his detailed
Jan 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
An unusual way of presenting the crime story, but I found it interesting. Picked it up mainly to get ready for his more acclaimed next book in the series. I like the protagonist a lot, and his dislike of the upper levels of policing and society. Certainly a different take on the typical crime series. Some of the references were confusing, but most of the British references were relatively easy to figure out, so not to off putting for American readers.
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We get a little more of the backstory of our nameless police sergeant in this second book in the Factory series, which are seriously downbeat bleak ass books. If you want the depressing end of crime, not tarted up as excitement and thriller, then this is for you. Philosophical, mordant, bleak, yeah, that's Raymond all right.
Jul 24, 2018 rated it liked it
More of a straightforward thriller when compared to the first book in the series. There are not as many interesting characters in the book this time around, and the back story of the narrator feels a bit forced.
May 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Extraordinarily fascistic even by 80s detective novel standards.
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
Dec 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Not as good as the first book in this series. Sections of the book were scattered and confusing, like a rough draft in need of an editor.
Jack Heath
Synopsis: a nameless narrator from the Unexplained Deaths Division looks into the case of a corpse found in a warehouse.
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Devil’s Home On Leave is the second book of Derek Raymond’s highly-acclaimed factory series. Even if you have widely read mysteries or crime fiction in general, it is all but guaranteed that you have never read anything like these five books. They are dark, gloomy, pessimistic, and antagonistic and all feature a nameless Detective Sergeant laboring in the Department of Unexplained Deaths (A14), which is, in contrast to the glamorous Scotland Yard, where the unsolved cases that no one cares ...more
Jul 25, 2013 rated it liked it
i want to like this derek raymond guy, but i just don't know. he's been compared to david peace, and david peace he is not. this nameless protagonist seems to know things and has information that seems too easy- especially without the google-machine to review a lifetime's worth of criminal histories in a few moments. our guy doesn't even like computers! so then, how? right.

some of the blurbs make comments that these books are "ferociously violent" and "disturbing" but i found them rather blah.
Nov 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In The Devil's Home on Leave, Derek Raymond's unnamed detective sergeant in the Unexplained Deaths division takes on a cruel and twisted killer who boils a body to prevent the police from identifying the victim. As the detective closes in on a suspect and digs into the possible motives, he starts to wonder if this case isn't a lot bigger than it first appeared.

In this, the second book in the "Factory" series, readers are treated to more British slang, another sordid case, and more information
Ian Mapp
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Not as good as He Died With His Eyes Open. The middle section got a bit bogged down in nothing much happening and flabby exposition, but it was book ended by pace and wit and better than a lot of current fiction. The thing I've liked about both the Factory books I've read so far is Raymond's commitment to the ambiguous ending. There's no neatening up, no tying off of strands, things are left open, the reader who searches for neatness left unsatisfied. Just like in life. The Devil's Home On Leave ...more
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Derek Raymond's Factory Series was a series of mysteries in the 80's and 90's focused on an un-named lifer investigator in a special division focused on cold cases or the ones that aren't good enough for the big cops.

The narrator is, in some ways, just as creepy and potentially sociopathic as the people who goes after.

In this one, a man is killed, boiled, chopped up and placed in carrier bags in an old warehouse. The story of what happened links to a robbery and a series of snitches in the
James Brown
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a solid followup to He Died With His Eyes Open, but as with many solid sequels, what it's missing is the novelty of its predecessor, which blew me away. That said, this one's quite good. If the first novel left you curious about how the protagonist got to be who he is, this novel will please you, as it gives some insight into his past--I, on the other hand, thought that part of the excellence of the first novel was that it relied solely on the voice of the narrator and not so much on ...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

Other books in the series

Factory Series (5 books)
  • He Died With His Eyes Open
  • How the Dead Live
  • I Was Dora Suarez
  • Dead Man Upright (Factory #5)
“I knocked at a second-floor flat in a dreary house, one of two hundred in a dreary Catford street.” 1 likes
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