Charles Williams (1909-1975) was one of the preeminent authors of American crime fiction. Born in Texas, he dropped out of high school to enlist in the US Merchant Marine, serving for ten years before leaving to work in the electronics industry. At the end of World War II, Williams began writing fiction while living in San Francisco. The success of his backwoods noir Hill Girl (1951) allowed him to quit his job and write fulltime. Williams's clean and somewhat casual narrative style distinguishes his novels-which range from hard-boiled, small-town noir to suspense thrillers set at sea and in the Deep South. Although originally published by pulp fiction houses, his work won great critical acclaim, with Hell Hath No Fury (1953) becoming the first paperback original to be reviewed by legendary New York Times critic Anthony Boucher. Many of his novels were adapted for the screen, such as Dead Calm (published in 1963) and Don't Just Stand There! (published in 1966), for which Williams wrote the screenplay. Williams died in California in 1975.
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January 15, 2013
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