Dorothy B. Hughes, The Expendable Man (New York Review Books, $14.95 paper). Back in print for the first time since 1963, this taut exercise in noir fiction tells the terrifying tale of an intern who picks up a hitchhiker in the desert and finds himself plunged into a they-won’t-believe-me nightmare. Best known today for writing the novel on which Nicholas Ray’s In a Lonely Place was based, Hughes turns out to be a first-class thriller writer who deserves to be far better known. A word to the wise: do not peek at Walter Mosley’s afterword until you’ve finished reading The Expendable Man! You really don’t want to spoil the surprise (TT).