A SWELL-LOOKING BABE is a novel written by Jim Thompson in 1954.
Dusty must take care of his stepfather now that his stepmother has died. He hates the poor man who lost his job as a teacher some years ago for having signed a liberal petition for free speech. Dusty had to accept to work as an hotel employee at night instead of going to the university. He also unconsciously hates his stepfather because he had developed incestuous thoughts while his stepmother was still alive.
So when Marcia Hillis arrives at the Manton Hotel in the middle of the night, Dusty falls madly in love with her because of her tremendous resemblance with her late mother. But why does Marcia try to seduce him so openly and act as if she wants him to be fired from his job ? One night, Dusty asks for help a local mobster living in the hotel and the no-good Tug kidnaps Marcia. The gangster's intentions are not so pure and he soon asks Dusty, if he wants to see again Marcia, to help him rob the Hotel's safe. But does Marcia really have no part in this blackmail ?
An ultra-noir study of a sick mind.
This report prepared by Daniel Staebler