How the Dead Live (Factory Series #3)

How the Dead Live (Factory Series #3)

by Derek Raymond


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Can you murder for love?

In the third novel of Derek Raymond's acclaimed Factory Series, the nameless detective visits a decrepit country house to look into the case of a disappeared woman.

It is, as always for the Detective Sergeant, a deeply unsettling investigation of love and damnation. The woman's husband seems to love her entirely. And yet he seems reluctant to find her, preferring to hide in a house that resembles the set of a horror film. Meanwhile other cops are getting in the way of the Sergeant and he's making new enemies on the force.

With growing desperation and his trademark sense of enraged compassion, the Sergeant fights to uncover a murderer not by following analytical procedure, but by doing the most idfficult thing of all: understanding why crimes are committed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935554592
Publisher: Melville House Publishing
Publication date: 10/04/2011
Series: Factory Series , #3
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)

About 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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How the Dead Live 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
susanamper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Scotland Yard mystery with a nameless detective sent to the hinterlands to investigate a case of a missing woman. How she disappeared and why no one is talking about is it what has the moody, misanthropic nameless narrator puzzled. Derek Raymond has clearly studied the style of Raymond Chandler, and while the book is very good, even thought provoking, it's not Chandler. But then, what is?
FicusFan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a book I found while looking for another book of the same name by Will Self (from a 100 book read thread recommendation). It looked interesting so I thought I would give it a try.This book is a mystery, very British. It is a hardboiled noirish type of book. Its the 3rd in the Factory Series . Some of the dialog is also very specialized, criminals and cops, trying to approximate Chandler's patter of 1940s LA (the UK version of course).The POV is a nameless detective, who is normally London-based, but this book sends him to a remote village. He is a walking insult/argument. The book is one long argument, when he isn't pensively musing about life, love, death, and his life experience. I am reminded of the Monty Python sketch (Silly Walks ?) which mentions the Bureau of Arguments, only not funny.The story is about the six months' disappearance of a prominent local man's wife - which no one had reported and the local police had not investigated. Their country house, where the locals attended the wife's singing concerts six months before, has become a dying, ruined, derelict. Not exactly believable in such a short time.The book started out well, but got lost along the way. The writing was a bit awkward, and I didn't really care about the characters. The story was mildly interesting, but the investigation was just an excuse for more insults and arguments. At least it was short, but probably won't read more by this author.
datrappert on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Remarkable. One of the darkest, saddest, and yet funniest books I have ever read. In the third book of the Factory series, Raymond's Nameless Detective is more relentless than ever in his no-compromises pursuit of justice as he travels to a town outside London to investigate the disappearance of a woman after the local police have failed to do so. There is a compelling mystery at the heart of the book, and it has all the noir trappings a reader could ask for, but that isn't the point. The most important parts of the book take place in the Nameless Detective's head as he spins soliloquies about life, death, loss, and redemption and in the long quotations from the husband of the missing woman. The Detective's basic methodology for resolving the case is to hilariously insult everybody he meets--with a few notable exceptions--and to reject the help of anyone, except for his trusted reporter friend who shows up halfway through the book. He is like Hammett's Continental Op in his ability to stir a whole town up for his own purposes.But this book doesn't take place in the real world at all. It is just as fantastic an atmosphere as Poe's Fall of the House of Usher, which it closely resembles in many ways. The descriptions of the decaying mansion at the center of the book, and, just as fantastically, the way the Detective stares down death at the hands of a rifle toting mother or a hired killer, are something out of a fever dream. On top of the noir and the Poe, there is also the poetry--poems, songs, and prose--that runs throughout the book, often as part of dreams the Detective, as first-person narrator, recounts. So the equation here might best be described as Dashiell Hammett + Edgar Allan Poe + Thomas Wolfe = Derek Raymond. But even that can't do justice to what Raymond has achieved here. For all of its influences, it emerges as a unique, visionary argument that, in the midst of corruption and chaos, one man's unalterable quest for justice can still mean something.If you try to read this as a regular mystery or piece of detective fiction, you are doomed to miss the point. And if you fall into sync with Raymond's and the Nameless Detective's way of thinking? Then maybe you are just plain doomed. But we don't have to go down without breaking a jaw or two.
harstan More than 1 year ago
He knows the brass hates him as he is a British bulldog with no regard to his superiors, procedure, or the media when it comes to solving a case or for that matter keeping apolitically correct silence when some Home Office idiotic suit lectures. His boss can¿t fire him because he is so successful, but tries to exile him whenever a remote area asks for help. --- Thus for opening his mouth during a mandatory class, this Scotland Yard detective finds himself leaving London for tiny Thornhill village in Wiltshire to investigate a missing-person. Apparently Marianne Mardy vanished her husband Dr. William Mardy has not reported her missing no one has. Since the local police suffer from duck disease up their arse, he is sent to rusticate make that investigate a possible murder so that his boss can have some needed R&R make that the gossipers can rest easy. In Thornhill, the outsider affirms the local police are uninterested in what happened to Marianne. As he keeps digging, he runs into corruption and soon begins to comprehend what happened to Mrs. Mardy when he learns HOW THE DEAD LIVE, but has problems with insuring justice not legal mumbo jumbo truly occurs. --- This is a reprint of the third Factory Scotland Yard thriller written by the late Derek Raymond (see HE DIED WITH HIS EYES OPEN and THE DEVIL¿S HOME ON LEAVE neither read by me). Written two decades ago, the tale is a terrific British police procedural Noir narrated by the unnamed detective who is as excellent at solving cases as he is at annoying his boss. Sub-genre fans will appreciate this engaging one sitting detective tale that exposes the underbelly that society pretends does not exist. --- Harriet Klausner