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The Expendable Man

The Expendable Man

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Written by Dorothy B. HughesAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Dorothy B. Hughes
Afterword by Walter MosleyAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Walter Mosley

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 264 pages
  •  
  • Publisher: NYRB Classics
  • On Sale: July 3, 2012
  • Price: $14.95
  • ISBN: 978-1-59017-495-1 (1-59017-495-X)
Also available as an eBook.
about this book

“It was surprising what old experiences remembered could do to a presumably educated, civilized man.” And Hugh Denismore, a young doctor driving his mother’s Cadillac from Los Angeles to Phoenix is eminently educated and civilized. He is privileged, would seem to have the world at his feet. Then why does the sight of a few redneck teenagers disconcert him so? Why is he reluctant to pick up a disheveled girl hitchhiking along the desert highway? And why, when she is discovered, dead, in Arizona, is he the first person the police suspect?

Dorothy B. Hughes ranks with Raymond Chandler and Patricia Highsmith as a master of mid-century noir. In books like In a Lonely Place and Ride the Pink Horse she exposed a seething discontent underneath the veneer of 20th-century prosperity. With The Expendable Man, first published in 1963, Hughes upends the conventions of the wrong-man narrative to deliver a story that engages readers even as it implicates them in the
greatest of all American crimes.

“Puts Chandler to shame . . . Hughes is the master we keep turning to.”–Sara Paretsky, author of the V. I. Warshawski novels

“You are rocked back by Ms. Hughes some fifty pages into her story, and I can certify that the effect is truly rocking. You even read past the vital word, just one word in a sentence of swift dialogue, before you realize what it has said, and what a new and different light it casts on everything you have read up to that moment.” –H. R. F Keating

“A mystery writer who. . . in America was regarded as one of the great names of detective fiction. . . . Her real talent lay in an ability to create atmospheres of growing apprehension and fear, a very modern approach at a time when Agatha Christie was producing her comparatively predictable puzzles. . . . Her last, and some consider her best, work of fiction was The Expendable Man.” –The Times (London)

“Let me say that it is Mrs. Hughes’ finest work . . . of unusual stature both as a suspense story and as a straight novel and nowise to be missed.” –Anthony Boucher, The New York Times