Sunday, February 05, 2012

Charles Williams by Bill Crider

Ed here: I've been reading Charles Wiliams this past week. I always liked this piece Bill Crider did about him so here it is with a link. From Mystery File. By the way this cover features my favorite fantasy girl Knockers O'Malley.


Here’s the back cover blurb:

The author of the hour!

He wrote HILL GIRL for you.

He wrote BIG CITY GIRL for you.

Now he has written for you his third and greatest GOLD MEDAL NOVEL: RIVER GIRL – the story of a man and a woman who met and knew instantly that not all the world could tear them apart.

If you already know that the guy who wrote those books for you is Charles Williams, then you probably already know that he, like Dan J. Marlowe from last time, is one of the people who belongs in the Gold Medal Pantheon.

River Girl was a little longer than a lot of the other books Gold Medal was publishing in 1951, so it was issued as a Gold Medal Giant and priced at 35 cents instead of a quarter. But it was still a bargain. It’s the story of Jack Marshall, who’s working as a deputy sheriff in a small southern town of the kind Williams writes about so well.
Jack didn’t set out to become corrupt. It just happened gradually, and even at that, we know he’s not all bad. He just needs a chance to escape from the life he’s trapped in. And the woman of the title, Doris, seems to be the way out he’s been looking for. But if you’re familiar with Williams’s work, you know that things seldom go well for his protagonists, and this time is no exception.
First, somebody is killed. Then, although Jack seems to have a perfect plan, little things start going wrong. One of the pleasures of reading the book is to find out what these little things are. Williams is a terrific plotter, so while you may guess some of them, I doubt you’ll guess all of them. The final chapter, only two pages long, is just right. Couldn’t be improved upon. The tone, pacing, and atmosphere of the whole book are pitch-perfect. No wonder River Girl is one of my favorite Charles Williams books.

for the rest go herte:

1 comment:

Unknown said...

It's hard to believe that Williams isn't one of the most discussed noir writers of the '50s, but for some reason he's never caught on. I think nearly all his books are terrific.