cover image I Was Dora Suarez

I Was Dora Suarez

Derek Raymond. Ballantine Books, $7.95 (216pp) ISBN 978-0-345-36852-2

Raymond's ( How the Dead Live ) nightmarish and compelling tale, the fourth in his Factory series, explores London's sordid underbelly, where the law enforcers have to be as brutal as the criminals they hunt. As the novel opens, an ax-wielding psychopath carves young Dora Suarez into pieces and smashes the head of Suarez's friend, an elderly woman. On the same night, in the West End, a firearm blows the top off the head of Felix Roatta, part-owner of the seedy Parallel Club. The unnamed narrator, a sergeant in the Metropolitan Police's Unexplained Deaths division, develops a fixation on the young woman whose murder he investigates. And he discovers that Suarez's death is even more bizarre than g suspected: the murderer ate bits of flesh from Suarez's corpse and ejaculated against her thigh. Autopsy results compound the puzzle: Suarez was dying of AIDS, but the g pathologist can't tell how the virus was introduced. Then a photo, supplied by a former Parallel hostess, links Suarez to Roatta, and inquiries at the club reveal how vile and inhuman exploitation can become. (Oct.)