It's a dark and evil lonely place
Dorothy B Hughes novel In a lonely Place reeks menace and oozes evil. It blankets its story in darkness and mists, which blur and obscure the action and intentions of its protagonist. It is a novel of it’s time, 40’s America, where Noir ruled and I’m reminded of Chandler and Cain and Hammett with their dark crime ridden tales. This is an exposition of a fiend that preys on women but doesn’t sensationalise his deeds.
Dix is back from the war where he was a pilot fighting the good fight. He, like soldiers now, is struggling to readjust to a normal life. He doesn’t want to work, has a relative reluctant to support is wasteful life, and is looking for the buzz war gave him.
When we meet Dix he has already killed, but he’s met up with an old war buddy. Dix was a legend in the war. A great warrior and a ladies man. Brub, the war buddy, is now a cop and is obsessed with the strangler, and keen to keep Dix within his social group. This is a challenge to Dix. This is the danger he craves.
And Dix has met a girl. A girl with ambition. Life begins to unravel when her ambitions belittle Dix and the his piss poor income.
In a Lonely Place is a tense thriller with a curious twist as to who exposes the strangler wreaking havoc on the streets. Loved it. A lot.