He Died With His Eyes Open (Factory 1), Derek Raymond
The first book in the Factory series of so called “exestensialist noir” following the nameless detective who works in the unsolved crimes division and sees the deepest underbelly of British society.
In this book, he’s on the case of a downtrodden alcoholic who was bludgeoned to death. No one should care, but our man does, for reasons that are never entirely clear.
The books starts violent and dark and just gets more intense from there. This isn’t Agatha Christie. It presents an unrelentingly dark vision of society and is on the edge of experimental. Something I get more weary of in my old age.
At times, reading this feels like a fever dream. I “enjoyed” it well enough, but haven’t returned yet to read the others in the series. Your milage my vary depending on how much tolerance you have for unrelenting doom.
Recommended for the enthusiast.