How the Dead Live (Factory Series #3)

How the Dead Live (Factory Series #3)

by Derek Raymond

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Third book in the acclaimed Factory crime series, with introduction by Will Self.


Third book in the acclaimed Factory crime series, with introduction by Will Self.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

First published in the U.K. in 1986, this powerful and mesmerizing novel should gain new U.S. fans for Raymond (1931-1994), known in Europe as one of the masters of British noir. The unnamed narrator, a dogged Scotland Yarder with a gift for antagonizing his superiors, travels to Wiltshire to resolve a bizarre missing-persons case. Though Marianne Mardy, a popular local figure, hasn't been seen for some time, her physician husband, William, hasn't reported her missing. The police are strangely uninterested in making any effort to locate the woman, and the narrator soon uncovers evidence of official corruption. After an initial interview with William, who lives a reclusive existence in a massive, crumbling mansion, the detective gets a glimmer of what really happened to Mrs. Mardy, only to find himself struggling to reconcile the truth with what his personal sense of justice requires. With spare, often lyrical prose, Raymond digs beneath society's civilized veneer to expose the inner rot. (May)

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Kirkus Reviews
From British author Raymond (1931-94), the story of a nameless sergeant working for the Metropolitan Police's department of unexpected deaths who is sent to a country town to investigate the case of a missing woman. The sergeant is a man of philosophical bent, who has a passion for justice, though not necessarily the law, and little patience for orders that don't suit him. The missing person is Marianne Mardy, a popular, vocally talented Frenchwoman, wife of a struck-off physician. Her disappearance was ignored by the police until someone wrote to the Chief Constable. A confrontational visit to the local cop shop convinces the sergeant that there's more than one bent copper in a town that seems as dangerous and depressed as the worst of London's slums. Dr. Mardy's residence is a moldering mansion that only Poe could love. Certain that Marianne has died, the sergeant passes up the distraught doctor for less obvious suspects and what turn out to be myriad villainous schemes. Pitiless and not above using force, he methodically digs up the dirt, exposing a savage story of undying love and boundless greed. The third in Raymond's Factory series (The Devil's Home on Leave, 2007, etc.)-wonderfully wrought, violent and bleak, not for the faint of heart-plumbs the darkest depths of British noir.
From the Publisher
Praise for Derek Raymond's Factory Series

"More Chandleresque than Chandler... [Raymond] could write beautifully...and, more importantly, what he is writing about in this novel are nothing less than the important subjects any writer can deal with: mortality and death."
—from the Introduction by Will Self

"Unrelenting existentialist noir—as if the most brutal of crime fictions had been recast by Sartre, Camus, or Ionesco while retaining something of the intimate wise-guy tone of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett."
—Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Review of Books

"It’s one of the darkest and most surrealistically hard-boiled things I’ve ever read. The detective is at least as scary as the murderers he’s chasing."
—William Gibson, bestselling author of Neuromancer

"No one claiming interest in literature truly written from the edge of human experience, no one wondering at the limits of the crime novel and of literature itself, can overlook these extraordinary books."
—James Sallis, author of Drive

"The Factory novels are certainly the most viscerally imagined of their kind that I've ever read, or reread multiple times.  Derek Raymond wrote in a supposedly escapist genre in a manner that precluded any hope of escape."
—Scott Phillips, bestselling author of The Ice Harvest

"There remains no finer writing – crime or otherwise – about the state of Britain."
—David Peace, author of "The Red Riding Quartet."

"Carve Derek Raymond’s name into the literary pantheon. He is one of the rare authors who seek to understand evil, ferret out the darkness in human nature, and blast Noir fiction out of the genre ghetto and into Literature. His nameless detective's quest through the bleak streets gets under your skin. Amazing, painful and brilliant."
—Cara Black, bestselling author of Murder at the Lanterne Rouge

"I Was Dora Suarez blew me away - beyond hard boiled."
—Patton Oswalt

“A crackerjack of a crime novel, unafraid to face the reality of man’s and woman’s evil.”
Evening Standard

"The beautiful, ruthless simplicity of the Factory novels is that Raymond rewrites the basic ethos of the classic detective novel."
—Charles Taylor, The Nation

"A bizarre mixture of Chandleresque elegance... and naked brutality"
The Daily Telegraph

"I cannot think of another writer so obsessed with the skull beneath the skin."
The Times (London)

"Hellishly bleak and moving."
—New Statesman

“Powerful and mesmerizing.... With spare, often lyrical prose, Raymond digs beneath society’s civilized veneer...”
Publishers Weekly

Product Details

Serpent's Tail Publishing Ltd
Publication date:
Factory Series, #3
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

Derek Raymond was the pseudonym of British writer Robert Cook, who was born in London in 1931. The son of a textile magnate, he dropped out of Eton and rejected a life of privilege for a life of adventure. He traveled the world, living in Paris at the Beat Hotel and on New York’s seedy Lower East Side, smuggled artworks into Amsterdam, and spent time in a Spanish prison for publicly making fun of Franco. Finally, he landed back in London, working in the lower echelons of the Kray Brothers’ crime syndicate laundering money, organizing illegal gambling, and setting up insurance scams. He eventually took to writing—first as a pornographer, but then as an increasingly serious novelist, writing about the desperate characters and experiences he’d known in London’s underground. His work culminated in the Factory novels, landmarks that have led many to consider  him the founding father of British noir. He died in London in 1993.

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