One of the most engaging serial killer novels I've read. A disturbed veteran prowls Los Angeles for victims until he meets a partner, and a potential way out of his cycle of violence. An early tale of misogynistic violence and an innovative noir thriller.— Jacob S.
A returned serviceman in late '40s Los Angeles goes out driving at night and women wind up killed. They're found on beaches, in eucalyptus groves, by the side of the road in isolated canyons. A beautiful noir about a serial killer at work, the fact that this was written by a woman make a huge difference - you see the threads of violence and misogyny woven through post-war American culture, see the way that culture naturally and obviously produces a person like this, and still does.— Madeleine
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.
About the Author
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.