In a Lonely Place

In a Lonely Place Postwar Los Angeles is a lonely place where the American Dream is showing its seamy underside and a stranger is preying on young women The suggestively named Dix Steele a cynical vet with a chip on h

  • Title: In a Lonely Place
  • Author: Dorothy B. Hughes
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 433
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Postwar Los Angeles is a lonely place where the American Dream is showing its seamy underside and a stranger is preying on young women The suggestively named Dix Steele, a cynical vet with a chip on his shoulder about the opposite sex, is the LAPD s top suspect Dix knows enough to watch his step, especially since his best friend is on the force, but when he meets the lusPostwar Los Angeles is a lonely place where the American Dream is showing its seamy underside and a stranger is preying on young women The suggestively named Dix Steele, a cynical vet with a chip on his shoulder about the opposite sex, is the LAPD s top suspect Dix knows enough to watch his step, especially since his best friend is on the force, but when he meets the luscious Laurel Gray a femme fatale with brains something begins to crack The basis for extraordinary performances by Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame in the 1950 film version of the book, In a Lonely Place tightens the suspense with taut, hard boiled prose and stunningly undoes the conventional noir plot Puts Chandler to shame 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 Miller, author of the Sharon McCone novels This lady is the queen of noir, and In a Lonely Place is her crown Laurie R King, author of the Mary Russell novels

    • In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes
      433 Dorothy B. Hughes
    • thumbnail Title: In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes
      Posted by:Dorothy B. Hughes
      Published :2019-09-04T09:33:23+00:00

    About " Dorothy B. Hughes "

  • Dorothy B. Hughes

    Dorothy B Hughes 1904 1993 was a mystery author and literary critic Born in Kansas City, she studied at Columbia University, and won an award from the Yale Series of Younger Poets for her first book, the poetry collection Dark Certainty 1931 After writing several unsuccessful manuscripts, she published The So Blue Marble in 1940 A New York based mystery, it won praise for its hardboiled prose, which was due, in part, to Hughes s editor, who demanded she cut 25,000 words from the book.Hughes published thirteen novels, the best known of which are In a Lonely Place 1947 and Ride the Pink Horse 1946 Both were made into successful films In the early fifties, Hughes largely stopped writing fiction, preferring to focus on criticism, for which she would go on to win an Edgar Award In 1978, the Mystery Writers of America presented Hughes with the Grand Master Award for literary achievement.

  • 141 Comments

  • “Once he’d had happiness but for so brief a time; happiness was made of quicksilver, it ran out of your hand like quicksilver. There was the heat of tears suddenly in his eyes and he shook his head angrily. He would not think about it, he would never think of that again. It was long ago in an ancient past. To hell with happiness. More important was excitement and power and the hot stir of lust. Those made you forget. They made happiness a pink marshmallow.” Dorothy B. HughesI’d known Dix [...]


  • If you were a single gal living in post-war Los Angeles you’d probably find Dix Steele absolutely dreamy. After all, he’s a big handsome fella who dresses well and likes to dine out in swell places. He was a fighter pilot in the war, and now he’s working on writing a mystery novel so he’s certainly leading a colorful and interesting life. Just one problem. About once a month he feels a compulsion to strangle a strange woman to death.Oh, well. Nobody’s perfect, right?We spend the entire [...]


  • This novel from Dorothy Hughes, a portrait of a sociopath in post-WWII Los Angeles, was very loosely adapted in to the under-appreciated noir classic movie directed by Nicholas Ray and starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame.Notice my use of the word loosely. If you've only ever seen the movie then you only have a vague idea of what this novel is about and probably even less idea of what happens.This is the story of Dickson Steele, heir to a fortune who was forced to work his way through Pri [...]


  • There wasn't any girl worth getting upset over. They were all alike, cheats, liars, whores. There'd only been one decent one among them and she was dead.His name is Dix Steele. He's young and handsome, a real lady-killer, possibly in every sense of the word. He has very structured ideas about how women should behave. He's fond of women who wait alone in dark, lonely places. There's this one woman in particular who reminds him of a girl he used to know back in Englandhe'd definitely like to get t [...]


  • First the bottom line: I loved this novel. It reads like something from Patricia Highsmith, with its focus on exploring the mind of a sociopath, but actually predates Highsmith's first novel by three years or so. Second, re the film: book and movie are really two very different entities, so I can understand how, if someone sees the film first and then reads the book, disappointment might set in. The same is true vice versa -- I read the novel first and expected something much different than I go [...]


  • It is absolutely criminal that this amazing book has ever gone out of print.National treasure Hughes's The Expendable Man might have maintained its social relevance better, but this is the finer book. Fans of Chandler and other vintage crime will slurp this down, and it's worth reading for its description of forties Los Angeles alone, even without all the rest.But the rest! Dix Steele makes all other characters from that era's so-called hardboiled fiction look like pantywaist pussies. This book [...]



  • He fled from the goodness of that home, and his hatred for Laurel throttled his brain. If she had come back to him, he would not be shut out, an outcast in a strange, cold world. He would have been safe in the bright warmth of her.Dix Steele would cast himself in the starring role. It is a movie, a tale of heroes. It is a world gone wrong and on his masculine shoulders to right everything in place. Chalk outline of an angry little boy throwing a tantrum on the ground. Real blood and smoke dreams [...]


  • [7/10]For a change, instead of following a hard boiled private eye along the mean streets of the big city, we get inside the head of the criminal and follow his twisted rationale , his torturous train of thought that leads to a series of murders of innocent women in Los Angeles, close after the end of WW II.With the identity of the culprit more or less revealed in the opening chapter, there was a certain lack of tension and a predictability that limited my involvement in what is definitely a wel [...]


  • In an introduction to a collection of his mystery stories,Isaac Asimov dismisses the sort of mystery novel in which we know who the killer is all along as a sort of wallowing in pathological psychology. He himself wrote mysteries in what he, somewhat self-servingly, called the traditional mode - puzzle stories that were far removed from the actual scene of any crime and had various conundrums presented and solved during the course of polite dinner-table chat. The implication was that a novel lik [...]


  • Post World War II Los Angeles, the place you go to find the great American dream, but a stranger is preying on young women. Ex-airman, Dix Steele offers to help his detective friend solve the case and catch the serial killer in the hopes it will help him with the crime novel he is writing. Along the way he meets the luscious Laurel Gray—the femme fatale. The queen of noir, Dorothy B. Hughes blends psychological suspense with conventional Hard-boiled and Noir styles to give us In a Lonely Place [...]


  • If Mickey Spillane had named one of his heroes "Dix Steele," it would leave me shaking my head and rolling my eyes, but when Dorothy B. Hughes gives the name to a serial rapist and killer, I nod and smile. Hughes can get away with this name because everything else in In a Lonely Place is so restrained. Dix Steele is so scary because he seems so ordinary--which is, of course, why sociopaths are so dangerous: Inwardly they have no conscience, while outwardly they seem the same as you or I. Many of [...]


  • Βαθμολογία: 9/10Το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο της Ντόροθι Μπ. Χιουζ το έβρισκα συνεχώς μπροστά μου, στις διάφορες λίστες με τα καλύτερα νουάρ όλων των εποχών και ήταν ένα από τα κάμποσα κλασικά και πολυσυζητημένα βιβλία του είδους που κανείς Έλληνας εκδότης δεν είχε μπει στον κόπο [...]


  • Amazing crime noir novel .A serial killer is killing young women. One of the detectives investigating is stymied. The detective's wife is beautiful and bold. So is another woman, determined to live her life the way she wants, sleep with whom she wants and well, this is so not the way I usually think of 1947.(I should know better. My mother was a young woman in 1947 and she lived the way she wanted, too. Bright, bold, opinionated and 'nobody's fool' type women run in my blood, and so)The story wa [...]


  • Charming and flawed in the way those crime films from the 40s are. Sure it seems a little clicheed, the plot twists are well signposted, but gosh does it have atmosphere in spades. Dix Steele (my most absolutely funny character name of 2017, nascent porn actors would reject the name as too much) is a troubled young man with a silly name adrift in LA, the plot unfolds majestically. Much to savour.


  • This is the first detective genre story I've read in a very long time. I read way to many of them throughout my life, and now find them tedious and stale. This writer is very different. She puts the reader into the head of a serial killer in a truly terrifying way, before the term was invented. He is deeply misogynist, but he is a deranged killer, so his opinions about women are also deranged. Everything the reader sees and hears is from his point of view. The threads are never dropped, the poin [...]


  • Reminiscent of Patricia Highsmith. Dix Steele is an ex-Army fighter jock living in Los Angeles and surviving nicely on a monthly check from his uncle. He's living in the apartment, wearing the clothes and driving the car of Mel Torries who has supposedly sublet everything to him and taken off for Rio. One evening he accidentally bumps into his best friend from the war, another fighter pilot, married to Sylvia, who is now a detective with the police force. There has been a series of women strangl [...]


  • Dorothy Hughes offers a different perspective in her noir novel In a Lonely Place. Using an outside point of view, she still manages to take you inside the head of Dix Steele, a strangler who preys on unsuspecting women and becomes the focus of a manhunt. We follow his path and see that he does and thinks, so his unstableness becomes evident from the get go. In this way, Hughes creates not only an impressive crime novel, but the character study of a killer’s downward spiral. Gone are the jabs [...]


  • it's nice to read a pulp crime novel that is very much its own thing, no visible influence from chandler or hammett or cain or any of the usual suspects (though i do get a faulkner vibe). hughes writes slowly and twistingly, with lots of unknowns and atmosphere; it's a very lonely book, not so much exciting as tense and doomed and sad. it's also mean as hell since it's from the killer's pov and he's not the kinda guy who pulls punches. Her name was Mildred Atkinson and she had led a very stupid [...]


  • IN A LONELY PLACE. (1947). Dorothy B. Hughes. ****.This is an early treatment of a serial killer theme by Ms. Hughes, though not written as a suspense novel. We know early on who the killer is. The majority of the novel deals with the psychology of the killer rather than his subsequent victims. We meet Dixon (Dix) Steele, recently arrived in L.A. and living in the apartment of his ex-Princeton buddy who, supposedly, has sub-let it to Dix while he has gone to Rio to work at a position there. Whil [...]


  • A paint-by-numbers kit where all the numbers are zero.*If you're wondering what kind of asshole gives less than five stars to a book whose protagonist is named Dix Steele, I'm afraid I don't have an excuse. Is this the best name in literature? Best Names in LiteratureUriah HeepDix SteeleAnita LoosCherry ValancePhineas FoggGraceless, Aimless, Feckless, and PointlessBartlebyAnd this 1947 book might be awfully influential. I say "might" because I don't know for sure, maybe it was a coincidence. But [...]


  • This should have been a story or a novella. The plot isn't built on suspense, and it becomes tiresome being long. It's spectacularly cool that a woman was writing books in the "noir vein" in the 1940s. How did I not know about her until this year? From a killer's perspective, this seems to be looking toward the future precedes Ripley by several years, preceding American Psycho by some 40 years. There's maybe a murderous main character I don't know about or am forgetting? The best thing is, she w [...]


  • This is very dark. It is about as noir as noir can get. Yet there is no blood nor any actual description of a murder or murder victim, although the method of the murders is told. It is different from the noir I have read before because it isn't told from the point of view of the detective. This is told in third person limited from point of view of the killer - a serial killer. I'm not giving anything away by saying that, as it is clear very early.This is a very fine characterization of the main [...]


  • More of a psychological study than a mystery or a thriller. We are shown events through the viewpoint of Dix alone, so the reader really gets to know him. The book is quite different from the film version, so there are no spoilers if you've already seen it. I can see how this book was influential to other writers who came later, especially to Patricia Highsmith. An interesting read.


  • In her novel, In a Lonely Place, Dorothy B. Hughes provides a close-up view of Dix Steele, serial rapist and murderer. She takes up residence inside his skull and shows what Dix thinks makes himself tick, convoluted though it may be. Dix straddles a tightrope of normalcy and insanity. Often he seems scarily ordinary, especially around others. He has a sense of humor and can be charming. He says the right things to allay suspicion.Sometimes Dix comes off a little pushy as when he pops in on frien [...]


  • This was a very dark book. Unlike any other noir book I've read this time we're not in the head of the detective but in the head of the killer. It's a very different viewpoint and I think Dorothy Hughes did a magnificent job showing Steele unraveling as he starts losing control.I wish there had been more uncertainty around Steele though. So you weren't sure if it was him or if it was someone else. Instead there were no surprises in this book. That was the downfall of this book.All in all though [...]


  • Really loved this dark crime novel. Despite being written in the 1940s, it didn't feel at all dated. Unlike most modern thrillers, it didn't go into gory detail, which, for me, was a blessing :) The writing was sharp and I loved the way it was written from the criminal's point of view - and what a narrator! Brilliantly done! The atmosphere was tense and claustrophobic, just perfect for this genre. Will be looking out for more Dorothy B Hughes novels.


  • The great Dorothy Hughes wrote the ultimate Los Angeles noir novel that needs to be re-discovered. A serial killer (the ultimate outsider that looks like an insider) strikes and Hughes gets into his 'head.'



  • Strangler Strikes Again! (x_x) This totally addictive noir-thriller was also made into a film starring Humphrey Bogart, but for my money, the book does a far better job of capturing the moody atmosphere and psychological suspense of a killer on the prowl in the dark, foggy nights of Santa Monica. With only four main characters, and a limited supporting cast, it's a tightly-paced tale of hunter and hunted, and all the more anxiety-inducing as told through the eyes the paranoid and sociopathic nar [...]


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