In A Lonely Place

In A Lonely Place

Book - 2003 | 1st Feminist Press ed
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Publisher: New York : Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 2003, c1947
Edition: 1st Feminist Press ed
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY HUG PBK
Characteristics: xvi, 250 p. ; 21 cm
ISBN: 9781558614550


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Nov 30, 2019

Film noir and hardboiled fiction are dominated by men, so Dorothy Hughes 1947 novel, which was filmed with Humphrey Bogart, offers a unique take on the genre. World War II vet Dix Steele returns to the States, adrift and alone. In Los Angeles, he hooks up with an old army buddy turned cop. Women are being killed and his friend is on the case. I won't describe any more of the plot, as its best to go into it without knowing much. Like much of the best hardboiled novels, it has a pitch black heart and a deep cynicism about human nature. Afterword by writer Megan Abbott.

Aug 25, 2019

If you like psychological thrillers whose narrator is unreliable then you are in for a treat. This book puts you squarely in the mind of a former fighter pilot Dix Steel, who is unstable and deeply misogynist. Set in LA in the late 40's, Dix hooks up with a former pilot buddy, Brub, who is now a police officer, hot on the heels of a serial killer. Dark and moody , this book stays with you long after turning the last page. Written in the 40's "In A Lonely Place" is ground-breaking with a feminist perspective. A Humphrey Bogart film was made with the same name but sanitized for Hollywood standards. At just over 200 pages, this book packs a punch.

Jan 14, 2019

This novel, narrated in the first person by a serial killer, ranks with Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me and Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley series as a harrowing Investigation of the psychopathic mind. The same avoidance of responsibility, the same paranoia and feelings of unstoppable personal power afflicts each killer. But Hughes’s novel contains a more acute social vision in that her killer’s rage stem directly from his hatred of and fear of women. And Hughes’s killer, Dix Steele, has more than met his match in Laurel Gray and Sylvia Nicolai, two sharp, tough women who quickly see through him. This novel’s timing is impeccable, there isn’t a wasted scene. The combination of vicious violence and helplessness in the killer Dix is convincing. The novel makes L.A. circa 1950 feel like a beach town. The descriptions of the beaches and the fog rolling in are beautiful depictions of nature. And wound as they are in the suspense in the novel, they give that nature a sinister feel.


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