Charles Williams (1909–1975) was one of the preeminent authors of American crime fiction. He dropped from high school to enlist at the US Merchant Marine, serving for several years. In the end of World War II, Williams started writing fiction while residing in San Francisco. The success of his backwoods noir Hill Girl (1951) allowed him to quit his job and write full time.
Williams’s tidy and somewhat casual story style distinguishes his novels—which range from hard-boiled, small-town noir to suspense thrillers set in sea and at the Deep South. Although originally released by pulp fiction homes, his work won great critical acclaim, with Hell Hath No Fury (1953) getting the first paperback original to be reviewed by legendary New York Times critic Anthony Boucher. Many of his books were adapted for the display, 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 1975 in California.
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