Additional Book Information
Series: NYRB Classics
Publication Date: August 15, 2017
In a Lonely Place
by Dorothy B. Hughes, afterword by Megan Abbott,
Fighter pilot Dix Steele has returned from World War II and is yearning to recapture “that feeling of power and exhilaration and freedom that came with loneness in the sky.” He prowls the Los Angeles night—bus stops and stretches of darkened beaches are where he seeks and finds young women on their own. His funds are running out and his frustrations are growing. Where is the good life he was promised? Why does he always get the raw deal? Then he runs into his old Air Corps buddy Brub, now working for the LAPD, who just happens to be on the trail of a strangler.... Written with controlled elegance, Dorothy B. Hughes’s tense noir is at once an early indictment of a truly toxic masculinity and a twisty page-turner until the very end.
If you wake up in the middle of the night screaming with terror, don't say we didn't warn you.
—The New York Times Book Review
Dorothy B. Hughes ...is my favorite crime writer. Full stop... In a Lonely Place...blasted my mind open."
—Sarah Weinman, Los Angeles Review of Books
[Dorothy B. Hughes] was extraordinary... Crime was never Hughes's interest, evil was, and to be evil, for her, is to be intolerant of others, of the very fact of the existence of something outside the self. With her poetic powers of description, she makes that evil a sickness in the mind and a landscape to be surveyed.
—Christine Smallwood, The New Yorker
Bringing ...[Dorothy B. Hughes] back is no act of nostalgia. It is a gateway through which we might access her particular view of that road between our glittering versions of American life and the darker reality that waits at the end of the ride.
This lady is the queen of noir, and In A Lonely Place is her crown.
—Laurie R. King, author of the Mary Russell novels
A tour de force laying open the mind and motives of a killer with extraordinary empathy. The structure is flawless, and the scenes of postwar LA have an immediacy that puts Chandler to shame. No wonder Hughes is the master we keep turning to.
—Sara Paretsky, author of the V.I Warshawski novels
A superb novel by one of crime fiction's finest writers of psychological suspense. What a pleasure it is to see this tale in print once again!
—Marcia Muller, author of the Sharon McCone novels
Lock your doors and windows before you start reading Dorothy B. Hughes superbly written In a Lonely Place, then prepare to lose some sleep. This spine-tingling classics rings chillingly true.
—Jan Burke, author of the Irene Kelly series
Dorothy B. Hughes was such a mistress of dark suspense that I always had to read the end of her books first to keep from biting off all my fingernails.
—Margaret Maron, author of Three-Day Town
In my rookie days Dorothy B. Hughes was the writer I most wanted to emulate. To me she had the sense of place and the narrative drive of Eric Ambler-tautened by a woman's edginess. To me she still imparts that delightful quiver.
—Dorothy Salisbury Davis, author of In the Still of the Night
Dorothy B. Hughes was in a class of her own. To be a female writer of hard-boiled fiction back in the 1940s was unusual enough, but to write a first-person narrative form the viewpoint of a male serial killer was breaking new ground by anybody's standards.
—Max Déecharné author of Hardboiled Hollywood: The Origins of Great Crime Films
In Hughes's novel, however, there is not a drop of romanticism, not a touch of fantasy. It is a dark, cold gem of a book, a gem without a flicker of heat or light. One that cuts to the touch.
—Megan Abbott, author of Dare Me and The Fever
Hughes was a wonderful writer. There is nothing overdone with her dialog and descriptions. Dix moving through the night, stalking his victims, is suspenseful and chilling but written quietly and creating an atmosphere that makes the reader feel the night and fog about them as they read.
—Mack Captures Crime blog
Dorothy B. Hughes writes literary hardboiled noir taking on and matching Chandler, Hammett, Cain and Thompson at their game.
—Rob Kitchlin, author of The White Gallows