Ride the Pink Horse by Dorothy B. Hughes
Sailor used to be Senator Willis Douglass’ protege. When he met the lawmaker, he was just a poor kid, living on the Chicago streets. Douglass took him in, put him through school, and groomed him to work as a confidential secretary. And as the senator’s dealings became increasingly corrupt, he knew he could count on Sailor to clean up his messes.
Willis Douglass isn’t a senator anymore; he left Chicago, Sailor, and a murder rap behind and set out for the sunny streets of Santa Fe. Now, unwilling to take the fall for another man’s crime, Sailor has set out for New Mexico as well, with blackmail and revenge on his mind. But there’s another man on his trail as well–a cop who wants the ex-senator for more than a payoff. In the midst of a city gone mad, bursting with wild crowds for a yearly carnival, the three men will violently converge…
The suspenseful tale that inspired one of the most beloved films noir of all time, Ride the Pink Horse is a tour-de-force that confirms Dorothy B. Hughes’ status as a master of the mid-century crime novel.