Tuesday, 2 September 2014

He Died with His Eyes Open, by Derek Raymond

OK, I read this back in 2006. Originally published in 1984, this is the first of the author's "Factory" series, featuring a nameless detective working for the Metropolitan Police's Department of Unexplained Deaths at the Factory police station (both the department and the station are fictional).

The plot is simple and yet effective and Raymond avoids the usual clichés that can come with a police procedural. Instead he opts for almost a psychological portrait of his nameless detective who slowly becomes obsessed with the victim and immerses himself in his life.

Like the best noir, almost all the characters are disagreeable and unpleasant human beings while Raymond's hero is as flawed an anti-hero as any.

This is a brilliant book and I would urge anyone who likes their fiction gritty to read this book.

5 out of 5

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