'An author with a flair for terror' The New Yorker
It's carnival time in Santa Fe, and three out-of-town visitors are drawn together in the heat, the smells and the colour of the festival . .
Sailor, a hood from Chicago, is there to confront his boss, Sen, a crooked politician, to try to get money for what he knows about the murder of Sen's wife, killed supposedly during a robbery gone wrong.
Following them both is Mac, a man from the same side of the tracks as Sailor, but who has made very different choices. He's a cop now, and wants Sailor to testify against Sen and put him away.
The three strangers collide, retreat and advance through the streets of New Mexico, moving ever closer to a charged and unexpected outcome . . .
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.