The psychological thriller, In a Lonely Place, is a groundbreaking book; one that you’ve probably never heard of. But thanks to efforts to resurrect the work of women mystery writers, this 1947 novel by Dorothy B. Hughes has been introduced to a new generation of readers.
The setting is Los Angeles after the Second World War. The reader is immediately introduced to Dix Steele, a former pilot and serial killer who targets women for revenge.
As the story unfolds, the reader anxiously waits for the next victim to be revealed. The suspense builds. When will Dix be stopped?
What is also notable about this book is that Hughes creates strong female characters. Remember, this book was written in 1947, when a damsel in distress was more common than a savvy divorcée actress or a wife who detects clues better than her husband, a homicide detective. Further, Hughes fleshes out a killer with depth and nuance. At times, he too seems like a tragic figure.
The edition I read was a 2003 re-release that contained blurbs from contemporary writers such as Sara Paretsky, author of the V.I Warshowski novels, Marcia Muller, the writer of the Sharon McCane Novels, and Laurie R. King, who wrote the Mary Russell novels.
After reading In a Lonely Place, I decided I wanted to read her first novel, The So Blue Marble. I’m interested to see how her work evolved. Hughes was born in Kansas City in 1904 and died in 1993. She was given the Grand Master award from the Mystery Writers of America in 1987.
Whether you read mystery and suspense novels or want to write one, be sure to pick up a copy of In a Lonely Place.
In other news, I’m pleased to announce that my novel, Erasing the Past, is now available on Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and many other outlets. The paperback version is also available on Amazon.
FROM THE BACK COVER:
It all began with a laugh. In 1968, as chemistry major Joe Holly headed to class, it was the sound of Kate Taylor’s laugh that caused him to fall for her, even before he glimpsed her face. And once he found her, he knew he would do anything to get her, and later, everything to keep her.
Based on an award-winning short story, this reimagined third edition of Erasing the Past travels back and forth in time between the first days of their courtship to their lives together thirty years later. When Kate announces that she wants cosmetic surgery, Joe’s world unravels. As the chief chemist for a cosmetics company, Joe attempts to create an age-defying cream with the synthetic blend of a fruit from a tree found in Africa. His concept could transform a science fiction dream into reality: Erase time from Kate’s face. But this fountain of youth comes with a cost.
Set against the backdrop of medical and technological advancement as well as corporate politics, Erasing the Past is a novel about love, betrayal, ambition, illusion, and second chances.
The eBook is available for $2.99 on Amazon.
The eBook is also available for $2.99 on Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and many other outlets.
The paperback is available for $7.99 on Amazon.
2 thoughts on “In a Lonely Place: Pulp fiction at its finest”
I loved In A Lonely Place, and found the writing style so contemporary for 1947. And I’m looking forward to Erasing the Past. Enjoying your posts, Geri!
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Thanks, Beth! And thanks for the original book recommendation. 🙂