The Blackbirder

The Blackbirder

A classic World War II-era noir with a page-turning plot, a cast of colorfully sinister characters and a protagonist who is thrust into the heart of political intrigue, this captivating 1943 novel parallels the spy novels of Grahame Greene, Eric Ambler, and the films of Hitchcock and Lang.

But in -signature Hughes fashion, The Blackbirder has a genre-bending twist: its hardboiled protagonist is a woman.Born of American expatriate parents, Julie Guilles was a pretty, sheltered rich girl growing up in Paris, a favorite of the Ritz Bar set.

Hughes gives her intrepid heroine a place at the heart of the actionDorothy B.

In 1978 she was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America.Femmes Fatales restores to print the best of womens writing in the classic pulp genres of the mid-20th century.

From mystery to hard-boiled noir to taboo lesbian romance, these rediscovered queens of pulp offer subversive perspectives on a turbulent era.

Enjoy the series: Bedelia; The Blackbirder; Bunny Lake Is Missing; By Cecile; The G-String Murders; The Girls in 3-B; In a Lonely Place; Laura; Mother Finds a Body; Now, Voyager; Skyscraper; Stranger on Lesbos; Women's Barracks.

Reviews of the The Blackbirder

Dorothy Hughes reads like the prototype for Megan Abbott with the ability to create an all enveloping sense of dread that Patricia Highsmith wouldn't be ashamed of writing and in doing so foreshadows the effects of Communist paranoia on the American psyche as Julie's mind becomes more and more fragmented with the overwhelming fear it creates.

Now days, you can hardly find her books in print although several have been reissued as ebooks (which I have a hard time reading). The main character, Julie Gaulle, is a woman who has escaped from Germany and is now living in America until she can find the blackbirder who can get her to Mexico, where she can begin to live under realistic circumstances. In the meantime, however, she suspects that she is being tailed by members of the German organization to take her back to their country, where her family occupies a relatively high status. She is constantly being followed as she makes her way from New York to New Mexico, where she believes the blackbirder maintains his organization.

Julie Guille, aka Juliet Marlebone, has been on the run for three years since fleeing occupied Paris and her vile pro-Nazi uncle; she's managed to reach New York by way of Portugal and Cuba. She realizes she could be a suspect and, besides, as an illegal immigrant she can't afford to be questioned by the cops. This is a hugely enjoyable thriller, although the ending's a bit too neat -- it's unusual for me to find myself wishing a book could have been a dozen pages longer. She also has an unusual way with words, which can be quite disconcerting until you get used to it.

And I loved the ending. I have no idea if this novel has ever been filmed, but it felt very movie-like and I would love to see it on the big screen.

Maxl might have ordered the man to watch. Julie Guille is in New York, having escaped from occupied Paris, she is on the run from the gestapo and the FBI her entry into the US illegal. Not everyone is who they seem, but Julie can never let her suspicions show, she agrees to a drink with Maxl, where she is convinced she is being watched by the waiter. The Blackbirder aids refugees across the border to New Mexico, and with Maxl dead outside her apartment, and the gestapo, FBI and her guardian all looking for her, he is, Julie is convinced her best chance of escape from the US.

24 jun 16, 1st from hughes for me...saw it listed in a list of stories also published by that one press i mentioned two reviews back...was it in the last macdonald,john d, story i read i believe so...coming to me...revval press? i like how nobody, really, in this story knows what the other is doing, thinking, what their purpose is. and yeah, this is another "book revivals press" and it must be listed amongst the groupings to do with wimmen. but in this one, they spelled "revivals" right.

Hughes draws readers into this fast paced suspense thriller by evoking the fear and paranoia of WW II.

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.

  • English

  • Fiction

  • Rating: 3.69
  • Pages: 288
  • Publish Date: June 1st 2004 by The Feminist Press at CUNY
  • Isbn10: 1558614680
  • Isbn13: 9781558614680