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Broken River Books is proud to present an important new collection of film noir essays from writer Jake Hinkson.


Jake Hinkson has written articles, essays, and profiles for various publications and websites including LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS, MENTAL FLOSSS, NOIR CITY, CRIMINAL ELEMENT and more. Now, his best work has been collected in one volume.


Essays include "Hell Itself Couldn't Be A Stranger Place: The Film Noir of Orson Welles," "All Kinds of Women: The Lesbian Presence in Classic Noir," "The Hollywood Blacklist and the making of HE RAN ALL THE WAY," "The Passion of the Chump: The Synoptic Mitchum," "God's Murderous Men: The Film Noir Critique of American Religion," and many more.


The collection also includes in-depth profiles such as "The Girl They Loved to Kill: The Many Deaths of Peggie Castle," "The Broken Man: Tom Neal," "What Shows and What Doesn't: Frank Lovejoy and the Crisis of Masculinity," and many more.



Newcomers and connoisseurs alike can both revel in Jake Hinkson's riffs on film noir. He brings to the films a wealth of insight, valuable context, and—most vitally—real passion and a sense of fun. A smart and savvy collection.

              Eddie Muller, host of TCM's NOIR ALLEY and President of the Film Noir Foundation



Even though it is hard to believe that there are any dark corners left in the study of classic film noir, Jake Hinkson in THE BLIND ALLEY manages to shine light into a few of its more obscure niches with perceptive and entertaining studies of character actors like the redoubtable Art Smith, unrecognized femme fatales like Peggie Castle and Joan Dixon, as well as taking on neglected social issues in noir such as lesbianism and unwanted pregnancy.

                James Ursini, author THE NOIR STYLE and editor of the FILM NOIR READER series

Jake Hinkson’s concise, highly readable essays cover the wide waterfront of film noir, offering insightful new perspectives both on monumental films like DOUBLE INDEMNITY and TOUCH OF EVIL and overlooked figures such as Peggie Castle and Norman Foster.  A must-have collection for every student of this eternally fascinating genre.


Jake Hinkson ventures down some of the darkest and most unfamiliar back streets of film noir. A knowledgeable and passionate tour guide, Hinkson illuminates neglected corners with insightful essays on noir’s treatment of subjects from religion to childhood, lesbianism to the “crisis pregnancy.” Incisive profiles of overlooked figures—Norman  Foster, Richard Quine, Tom Neal, Mickey Rooney—rescue their contributions from the shadows while revealing lives often more noir than their films. THE BLIND ALLEY is especially to be treasured for its loving tributes to women who never quite had the careers they deserved, but who left their indelible mark on noir, among them Peggie Castle, Martha Vickers, and Thelma Ritter. For the noir fan, delving into this collection is like opening a box of extra-dark chocolates.

                  Imogen Sara Smith, author of IN LONELY PLACES: FILM NOIR BEYOND THE CITY

Jake Hinkson is the Roger Ebert of film noir studies. His stylish prose bristles with memorable insights and the kind of fun only a true movie lover can bring to the table.

               Ed Gorman, co-founder of MYSTERY SCENE and winner of the Anthony Award for Best Critical Work for THE FINE ART OF MURDER

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