In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes

#93 in my book challenge for the year, In a Lonely Place was a recommendation from my husband G. Grod, who read a recommendation of it by Frank Miller, the comic book creator of Sin City. Miller embraces a lot of the conventions of 40’s pulp noir. Hughes, however, did not. In a Lonely Place is narrated exclusively by the bad guy, Dix Steele, and Hughes carefully ensures that the reader is engaged by the story but does not identify with him. Dix’s misogyny is never in question, but the violence is always implied. The book is part of a series of women writing noir, and has an excellent afterward that contextualizes the work and allows the reader to reconsider details of the novel within a feminist framework. I was glad for the thought-provoking afterward, as it encouraged me to keep thinking about things I rushed through reading because the story was so compellingly told.

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