Thursday, November 5, 2020

Pandemic Ebook: "I Was Dora Suarez" by Derek Raymond

 Pandemic Ebook: I Was Dora Suarez by Derek Raymond, 1990, from Wisconsin Digital Library.

I finished this in September. I've enjoyed the Factory novels and many reviews say this is the best one. I disagree. I think How the Dead Live is better.

This one is kinda weird. The Police Inspector is brought back to work after getting canned in the previous novel. There is a high profile double murder and post-mortem butchering - actual butchering because he ate part of one victim - and another crime related murder a short distance away. Both murder scenes look to be linked.

Inspector gets all lovey-dovey for the young dead woman who was the focus on the killer's wrath. The novel is sort-of partly epistolary with Inspector reading the dead woman's journals. Meanwhile, we follow the insane killer around whose psychosis seems more made up by Raymond than realistic.  

Inspector is partly assisted by another cop. Both of them are brutal and cruel but never, never ever, put hands on a suspect or interviewee. They take great pride in breaking a man down with words and mental pressure. The cops finally track down the killer to his squat in an abandoned building where he has a weird self torturing set-up. 

There is a lot about the killer's self-punishment and how dangerous and unstable he is. I never quite understnad Raymond's description of the self-punishment device that involved a bicycle wheel and that the man's penis has been mutilated.


1. My annoyance with the novel is the ongoing and sometimes interminable philosophizing by Inspector of love, crime and fate and the dead woman. Ugh. 

2. Suarez has full blown AIDS with Sarcoma lesions. This was done in a time and place where AIDS was still mysterious and guaranteed death. The characters spoke about a very unusual disease. 

3. Great setting of the London Metro police and urban setting. Raymond was a small-time crook himself and his crooks are always human: they act like real people are sometimes amoral thugs.

No comments: