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4.0 

In a Lonely Place

By Dorothy B. Hughes and Megan Abbott
In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes and Megan Abbott digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

A classic California noir with a feminist twist, this prescient 1947 novel exposed misogyny in post-World War II American society, making it far ahead of its time.

Los Angeles in the late 1940s is a city of promise and prosperity, but not for former fighter pilot Dix Steele.  To his mind nothing has come close to matching “that feeling of power and exhilaration and freedom that came with loneness in the sky.” He prowls the foggy city night—­bus stops and stretches of darkened beaches and movie houses just emptying out—seeking solitary young women. His funds are running out and his frustrations are growing. Where is the good life he was promised? Why does he always get a raw deal? Then he hooks up with his old Air Corps buddy Brub, now working for the LAPD, who just happens to be on the trail of the strangler who’s been terrorizing the women of the city for months...

Written with controlled elegance, Dorothy B. Hughes’s tense novel is at once an early indictment of a truly toxic masculinity and a twisty page-turner with a surprisingly feminist resolution. A classic of golden age noir, In a Lonely Place also inspired Nicholas Ray’s 1950 film of the same name, starring Humphrey Bogart.

9 Reviews

4.0
“4.5 stars i don’t really like reading mystery/thrillers/detective books but it was pretty good! dix is so gross, i wanted to drop kick him :)”
“I was hooked from the first sentence. This is an incredible crime book that is told in the voice of the killer. Women are being strangled and the police are unable to find the killer. The protagonist in this book is Dix Steele who went through the war as a fighter pilot and is now lost. You get the truth from the first that this man is dangerous and is not to be trusted. I have not read Dorothy Hughes before but I plan on looking for more of her books. The two women in this book are tremendously smart. Both Sylvia and Laurel are strong female characters who see beneath the mask that Dix wears. He is convinced that he has everything under control but it is the moments that he loses control that shows the monster underneath. I have always enjoyed the crime books that are written from the criminal's point of view. It is disturbing to read the story from their perspective. In the end, Slyvia confronts Dix and shatters his control to reveal the truth. High praise for Dorothy Hughes I can't wait to read another of her books.”

About Dorothy B. Hughes

Dorothy B. Hughes (1904–1993) was born Dorothy Belle Flanagan in Kansas City, Missouri. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and worked as a reporter before attending graduate school at the University of New Mexico and Columbia University. In 1931 her collection of poetry, Dark Certainty, was selected for inclusion in the Yale Series of Younger Poets. She was married in 1932 and would not publish her next book, the hard-boiled novel The So Blue Marble, until 1940. Between 1940 and 1952 Hughes published twelve more novels, including The Cross-Eyed Bear and Ride the Pink Horse. For four decades she was the crime-fiction reviewer for The Albuquerque Tribune, earning an Edgar Award for Outstanding Mystery Criticism from the Mystery Writers of America in 1951. The Expendable Man, published in 1963, was her last novel. “I simply hadn’t the tranquility required to write” and care for a family, she later said. In 1978, however, she published The Case of the Real Perry Mason, a critical biography of Erle Stanley Gardner, and that same year she was recognized as a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America.

Megan Abbott is the author of eight novels, including The Fever, You Will Know Me, and the Edgar Award–winning Queenpin. She is also the author of The Street Was Mine, a study of hard-boiled fiction and film noir and the editor of A Hell of a Woman, a female crime fiction anthology. She received a Ph.D. in literature from New York University.

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