Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hughes, Dorothy B.: The Blackbirder

Having read four novels some years ago in a noir series, I was curious to see how the author translated those sentiments into
a spy thriller in this book set during World War II. The heroine is American by birth though raised in France and illegally returned to the USA to escape the Germans in Paris. She is seeking her childhood sweetheart, the son of the couple who has
raised her, though she believed he was for the Free French whereas his parents were decidedly pro-Nazi. From New York where she sees an acquaintance murdered she flees to Santa Fe, in and around which the action takes place. There is a lot
of duplicity, uncertain trust and numerous twists of fate during the course of the novel. The heroine has developed survival skills during her flight to safety from Paris and she needs these to keep herself alive. Unlike the traditional noir which has a
hero beset by a faithless woman, this has a heroine who finds she has a faithless hero though the final chapters which rely
(as often is the case) somewhat on coincidence do tend to the sentimental. However, reading this has prompted me to buy
'In a Lonely Place' which is perhaps her best-known novel.

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