Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Scottish police procedural writer Bill Knox

In my on-going effort to write a book on British paperbackers, I read my first Bill Knox. Now, Know is pretty forgotten these days and on him I seem to rely solely on his Wikipedia entry which is a bit skimpy, but seems reliable. Take a look here

I read his first novel, Deadline for a Dream, that was published in 1957 and translated in Finnish five years later as Ei armoa unille (which is a misleading title). In the book Knox uses his knowledge about working as a journalist as the main character in the novel - beside the leading cops, of course - is a young journalist who's fallen in love with a good-looking woman who wants nothing but the best. The young writer decides he'll rob the money car. There's something in the set-up that doesn't ring true to me, though Knox uses it to a good effect in the scenes in which the journalist guy does the story on the robbery and interviews the cops. The climax in the end is exciting, but leaves a bitter aftertaste when Knox's police heroes say that the guy was really a victim, the actual criminal was the babe who just wanted more money and furs and fancy restaurants. 

Knox seems a reliable police procedural writer and I'll be reading more of him with some interest. I'm in the middle of John Creasey's Gideon's Risk (surprisingly the only Creasey novel translated in Finnish!) and see the tradition of the police procedural genre in England. There's also Leonard Gribble. (He and Creasey also dabbled in westerns, by the way, Creasey wrote as William K. Reilly and Gribble as Stetson Cody. Anyone read those?) Any other names you care to mention? 

Oh, here's someone writing about the five translated Knoxes in Finnish. I don't know the illustrator of the Finnish paperback edition, but it's a scene right in the beginning of the book. 


Unknown said...

Bill Knox contributed to the Edgar Wallace Mystery Magazine I created and edited for the UK publisher Micron Publications in the early 1960s. His work was always very welcome. John Creasey also wrote westerns as Tex Riley and I've recently been able to buy a couple of these at reasonable prices, although all the Creasey westerns are in the "rare" category. I wrote about westerns by Creasey and other thriller writers in the March 2007 edition of Black Horse Extra which you can find at http://blackhorsewesterns.com

Juri said...

Thanks, this was nice to hear!