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Book Information: In a Lonely Place

In a Lonely Place (1947) [Novel]
by Dorothy B. Hughes Rating: No votes (Rate!)
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Summary (From the publisher):

The setting of this classic 1947 noir is post-World War II Los Angeles. For many here, the golden promise of Southern California is running headlong into bleak reality. Returning veterans face a crisis of identity and masculinity - and in the wide boulevards and dark canyons of the city, a serial killer preys on young working girls who wait alone in bars or at lonely bus stops.

Hardboiled mystery writer Dorothy B. Hughes employs a bold narrative strategy, writing from inside the mind of a man who may himself be the murderer. The suggestively named Dix Steele is an ex-airman, an isolated, tough-talking drifter who maintains the appearance of a nearly normal life, but spends his nights restlessly roaming the streets of L.A. The first threat of Dix's carefully maintained charade comes in the form of a chance meeting with his best friend from the service, now a detective assigned to the serial strangler case. Playing with fire, Dix offers to help his buddy map the identity of the killer - and is soon providing eerily accurate theories.

Enter the femme fatale: Glamorous actress Laurel Grey has left many men in her wake and survived more than one hard knock on her way up the Hollywood ladder. In his desperate efforts to win this potent goddess, Dix lights the fuse that will explode his rigid masculine facade. It's not his detective buddy, but Laurel and the detective's savvy wife who see through to the truth.

As she takes us deeper into the killer's story - and into Dix's tortured soul - Hughes exposes the anatomy of postwar American misogyny. Writing in a genre dominated by such macho figures as Jim Thompson, Raymond Chandler, and James M. Cain, she gives the traditional hardboiled thriller a wryly subversive gender twist.
(from the publisher)

Original title: In a Lonely Place
Original languages: English


Genre: FictionCrime and MysteryDetective Story and DetectivesNoir

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