And the Deep Blue Sea
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Edgar Award Finalist: A sailor stranded in the Pacific Ocean finds there are a million ways to die
His life in pieces, Harry Goddard buys a thirty-two-foot sloop and sets out to sail the Pacific. He is a thousand miles from anywhere when his craft strikes an unseen object, and begins taking water. For all his desperate efforts, he cannot save her, and Harry is forced into his life raft, to drift without food, water, or shelter from the sun. He is near death when the Leander rescues him. But by the time his trip is over, he’ll wish he’d taken his chances in the open water. A tramp freighter sailing under the Panamanian flag, the Leander is en route to the Philippines when its crew spots Harry and takes him aboard. But as he regains his strength, Harry uncovers a murderous conspiracy that could destroy the ship that saved him.
“No one can handle a boat in print more gracefully than Charles Williams.” —Dorothy B. Hughes, author of In a Lonely Place “[Williams] is just about as good as they come.” —The New York Times “One of the neglected hardboiled geniuses . . . his novels were perfect little gems.” —Joe R. Lansdale, author of Savage Season
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.