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Featured Novels > In A Lonely Place by Dorothy Hughes

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message 1: by Kurt (new)

Kurt (aquaranger) | 44 comments I going to post this one a little sooner than previous featured books. Hopefully this will give everyone a bit more time to provide some comments on the book.

I’m looking forward to going back to a classic true noir tale. Have you read it? What did you think?


message 2: by Christopher (new)

Christopher (Donut) | 15 comments I think I have this at home. Definitely:

In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes

Tend to get it confused with The Expendable Man by Dorothy B. Hughes (which I don't have)


message 3: by Justin (new)

Justin | 95 comments I am on, like, page 4, and really enjoying it. Hughes knows how to write.


message 4: by Jay (new)

Jay Gertzman | 9 comments Kurt wrote: "I going to post this one a little sooner than previous featured books. Hopefully this will give everyone a bit more time to provide some comments on the book.

I’m looking forward to going back to ..."


It is a powerful tale, very different from the film, although in both the main character is a man with secret compulsions that flare into violent responses. In the novel, Hughes explores what we now call PTSD. The sinister atmosphere she evokes is the essence of noir. The world she explores thru the main character is that of the dawn of the Atomic Age.


message 5: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Smith (oncewewerefiction) | 124 comments Mod
I'm going to start on this as soon as I finish Total Chaos.


message 6: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Smith (oncewewerefiction) | 124 comments Mod
Started this last night, and the opening is really great. The description of setting, while not specific is frankly, brilliantly written. Pacy and poetic all at once.


message 7: by Jay (new)

Jay Gertzman | 9 comments Dix feels there is something a lot better and more exciting than companionship, that he is a "hunter." The war years were great for him, b/c he had respect as a *heroic* killer (of the enemy). He's addicted. Yet he cries when he hears Brucie is dead (she was strangled, by guess who?).. She loved him, was overflowing with love (he thought). He drives all night, emptying himself of emotions. Then Hughes tells us his next victim, the"little brown girl," was not raped. What is her point?


message 8: by Kurt (new)

Kurt (aquaranger) | 44 comments Great comments. I’m excited to read the book, but I usually wait until right before we record so it’s fresh in my mind.

When we do record I’m going to make sure we incorporate some of your comments.


message 9: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Smith (oncewewerefiction) | 124 comments Mod
Love that, Jay. Brub and his wife are a bit sort of smug at the start, aren't they?


message 10: by Jay (new)

Jay Gertzman | 9 comments They are. But Brub's wife thinks that despite her husband's assurance of protection, he leaves immediately to start investigating. That thought of course is a seed of unease for her. This kind of passage is what makes Hughes first rate. She does this equally well in Ride the Pink Horse. I think the Mexicans in this book are the protags. They have fun, waiting for the whites to go away. In a lonely Place carries the same kind of implication about the whites who think they own Santa Fe because they have more money and comfy hotels


message 11: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Smith (oncewewerefiction) | 124 comments Mod
I'm at 26% and, while not o lot has happened apart from the murder (obvs), I am really enjoying it. The murderer pov is reminding me of Jim Thompson 'The killer inside me' . I look forward to reading more when I'll get a better view of the overall themes.

p.s. How cool is Dix's chat up line to the red head!

Also does no one else think - jeez Dot, how I'm I supposed to take this guy seriously. He's called Dix Steele ffs.


message 12: by Kurt (new)

Kurt (aquaranger) | 44 comments I just finished the book today and I really enjoyed it. I’ll save most of my thoughts for the show, but I did like it as much as “The Killer Inside Me” different but I liked this take on the serial killer. This was the type of writing I expected, but didn’t find, in “Stranger on a Train.” I will certainly be reading more Hughes.


message 13: by Justin (new)

Justin | 95 comments I haven't finished yet, but to piggyback off your comment, Kurt, this is the kind of writing I expected from Cornell Woolrich, but didn't find.


message 14: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Smith (oncewewerefiction) | 124 comments Mod
Some of the observation of conflicted character is incredible, and reminds me of George Gissing (who I love).


message 15: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Smith (oncewewerefiction) | 124 comments Mod
Okay, so I finished this last night. And it's five stars for me. That said, I did find the ending quite disappointing. It felt a bit like Dix just went, 'it's a fair cop, guv' and gave up. I think that the weakness of the ending stopped this from being a better novel than 'The Killer Inside Me' even though the quality of the writing was beyond anything I've read for quite some time.


message 16: by Justin (new)

Justin | 95 comments Fair point, Geoff. He does sort of raise raise his hands at the end.


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