Sailor, a hood from Chicago, steps off a bus in a small, desert town. He is looking for someone, his boss, 'Sen' - a crooked, 'weasel-faced' Senator, who has set up the murder of his wealthy wife and made it look like a bungled robbery. Sailor is the only person who can finger Sen for the crime, and he intends to make the senator pay a hefty sum for his silence.
In a hypnotic style that is pure, unsentimental noir, Hughes builds tension relentlessly and the fates of Sailor and Sen are played out against the increasing fervour of the town's festivities.
Originally published in the 1940s, Ride the Pink Horse takes classic American noir to a new level. Reminiscent of Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain, Dorothy Hughes weaves timeless themes around a deceptively simple plot.
Several of Hughes' novels have been successfully adapted for the screen, including Ride the Pink Horse and In A Lonely Place, starring Humphrey Bogart.