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After a man’s corpse is discovered in a Rotherhithe warehouse, Derek Raymond’s nameless investigator from A14 – the ‘Unexplained Deaths’ division of the Met – is put on the case.
Operating, as usual, with his cunning and sheer nerve in place of adequate resources and contacts, he seeks to uncover much more than the murderer. To the comment from his boss at A14: ‘If you will stay a sergeant, you will always get the shitty end of the stick,’ he replies: ‘Maybe, but I think that’s the end where the truth is.’
The truth is that The Devil’s Home on Leave brilliantly captures with an authenticity rare in British crime fiction.
‘Raymond has prodigious literary gifts as a writer of class low-life London novels.’ New Statesman
‘I cannot think of another writer so obsessed with the skull beneath the skin.’ The Times
‘He droned on, completely – and what was worse, unconsciously – absorbed in himself, and suddenly I realized what hell it meant, not only to be a killer, but a bore. You think nothing of taking life, but your own existence fascinates you, and that’s the imbalance that we mean by evil… This neat, dull man, crouched in a sort of mass over his own hands, that freaked me.’