Dead Man Upright


Part of Melville International Crime

The fifth and final book in the author’s acclaimed Factory Series was published just after Derek Raymond’s death, and so didn’t get the kind of adulatory attention the previous four titles in the series got. The book has been unavailable for so long that many of Derek Raymond’s rabid fans aren’t even aware there is a fifth book.

But Dead Man Upright may be the most psychologically probing book in the series. Unlike the others, it’s not so much an investigation into the identity of a killer, but a chase to catch him before he kills again. Meanwhile, the series’ hero—the nameless Sargent from the “Unexplained Deaths” department—is facing more obstacles in the department, due to severe budget cutbacks, than he’s ever faced before.

However, this time, the Sargent knows the identity of the next victim of the serial killer in question. But even the Sargent’s brutally blunt way of speaking can’t convince the besotted victim, and he’s got to convince a colleague to go against orders and join him in the attempt to catch the killer . . . before it’s too late.

DEREK RAYMOND was the pseudonym adopted by Robin Cook, a well-born Englishman who spent a great portion of his life in France. Turning his back on Eton and all his birth class implied, he worked for years at whatever menial jobs or scams came to him, writing all the while, learning the secret life of London the way a cab driver must learn its streets. His life’s work culminated in the Factory novels now seen as clear landmarks in British fiction.

Praise for Derek Raymond’s Factory Series

“[The Factory series is ] majestically gloomy.” —Richard Price, New York Times Book Review

“Carve Derek Raymond’s name into the literary pantheon. 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

“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

“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

“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

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

“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.” —Will Self, author of The Quantity Theory of Insanity

“Pungently evokes the British underworld. As forceful as ever.”—Publishers Weekly

“For fans of Raymond’s dark and compelling mystery fiction, this one is a must-read.”—Booklist

“Beyond hard boiled.”—Patton Oswalt

“A bizarre mixture of Chandleresque elegance. . . and naked brutality”Daily Telegraph

“Hellishly bleak and moving”New Statesman

“Raw-edged, strong and disturbing stuff”The Scotsman