RARA-AVIS: William R. Cox

From: abc@wt.net
Date: 08 Jul 2002

Probably not a lot of people these days know who William R. Cox was, which is too bad. He started out in the pulps and wrote hundreds of stories for them: sports, mysteries, westerns. Later he branched out into paperback originals both under his own name and as Jonas Ward (he took over that franchise sometime in the early 1970s, I believe). He wrote hardcover books, too, mostly juveniles and biographies. Last night I re-read HELL TO PAY, a 1978 Signet original. The narrator is a professional gambler named Tom Kinkaid, who was also in several of Cox's pulp stories. The book is very much "of its time" as people say when they're trying to excuse dated slang (how long has it been since you read a book where someone's called "Daddy-O"?) and attitudes, but then most of us on this list aren't surprised by those kinds of things. You won't be surprised by the action and violence, either, but you might by Cox's attention to character and by the good writing. Cox is one of those guys who was really good, but hardly anybody knows it.

This is another give-away book, to the first e-mailer.

Bill Crider

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