'An author with a flair for terror' The New Yorker
Private First Class Johnnie Brown is on a break in New York, with just two days to spend however he likes before shipping out to fight the Nazis. All he wants to do is ride the subway, and while his fellow soldiers are exploring the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and what the nightclubs in Times Square have to offer, he pays his nickel and boards the train.
Oddly, he runs into a stout, mysterious man speaking German. Johnnie follows him to an upscale townhouse, where he finds himself looking at more thrills than any cabaret. Suddenly he has lost his clothes, his sense of where he is and his dignity, but Johnnie isn't going to give up until he's uncovered every secret the townhouse is hiding.
Dorothy B. Hughes was an acclaimed crime novelist and literary critic, her style falling into the hard-boiled and noir genres of mystery writing. Born in Kansas City, she studied journalism at the University of Missouri, and her initial literary output consisted of collections of poetry. Hughes' first mystery novel, The So Blue Marble, was published in 1940 and was hailed as the arrival of a great new talent in the field. Her writing proved to be both critically and commercially successful, and three of her novels - The Fallen Sparrow, Ride the Pink Horse and In a Lonely Place - were made into major films. Hughes' taught, suspenseful detective novels are reminiscent of the work of Elisabeth Sanxay Holding and fellow The Murder Room author Margaret Millar. In 1951, Hughes was awarded an Edgar award for Outstanding Mystery Criticism and, in 1978, she received the Grand Master award from the Mystery Writers of America. She died in Oregon in 1993.