Ride the Pink Horse
Dorothy B. Hughes
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During Fiesta, three desperate men converge in a perilous New Mexico town
It takes four days for Sailor to travel to New Mexico by bus. He arrives broke, sweaty, and ready to get what’s his. It’s the annual Fiesta, and the locals burn an effigy of Zozobra so that their troubles follow the mythical character into the fire. But for former senator Willis Douglass, trouble is just beginning. Sailor was Willis’s personal secretary when his wife died in an apparent robbery-gone-wrong. Only Sailor knows it was Willis who ordered her murder, and he’s agreed to keep his mouth shut in exchange for a little bit of cash. On Sailor’s tail is a cop who wants the senator for more than a payoff. As Fiesta rages on, these three men will circle one another in a dance of death, as they chase truth, money, and revenge.
“Nobody but Dorothy Hughes can cast suspense into such an uncanny spell, and she’s never done it better.” —San Francisco Chronicle “[An] excellent novel . . . A sympathetic study of the development of a criminal.” —The New York Times “Extraordinary . . . [Hughes’s] brilliant descriptive powers make and unmake reality.” —The New Yorker
Dorothy B. Hughes (1904–1993) was a mystery author and literary critic. Born in Kansas City, she studied at Columbia University, and won an award from the Yale Series of Younger Poets for her first book, the poetry collection Dark Certainty (1931). After writing several unsuccessful manuscripts, she published The So Blue Marble in 1940. A New York–based mystery, it won praise for its hardboiled prose, which was due, in part, to Hughes’s editor, who demanded she cut 25,000 words from the book. Hughes published thirteen more novels, the best known of which are In a Lonely Place (1947) and Ride the Pink Horse (1946). Both were made into successful films. In the early fifties, Hughes largely stopped writing fiction, preferring to focus on criticism, for which she would go on to win an Edgar Award. In 1978, the Mystery Writers of America presented Hughes with the Grand Master Award for literary achievement