By Charles Williams

Stranded in a small city, a stranger falls for a suspected murderess.

Bored, divorced, and unemployed, Chatham is on his option to the Gulf of Mexico while he passes via a small city by way of the river. It’s a depressing little burg—four stoplights and never a lot else—and he’s virtually escaped it while a drunk’s vehicle darts out in entrance of him, inflicting a bad fender-bender. the idea of 3 days expecting his clunker to get fastened is a grim one, yet even though he doesn’t understand it, there won’t be a lifeless minute.

Chatham unearths hospitality within the beautiful type of Mrs. Langton, lodge proprietor and native pariah. Seven months in the past her husband was once murdered, and although the police may well locate no proof to aid the idea, everybody on the town is confident she killed him. Now a string of nameless threats have left her with regards to a worried breakdown, and the violence is ready to develop into actual. In a city this small there’s no room for secrets and techniques, yet lots of areas to bury a corpse.

Charles Williams (1909-1975) was once one of many preeminent authors of yankee crime fiction. Born in Texas, he dropped out of faculty in 10th grade to enlist within the US service provider Marine, serving ten years sooner than leaving to paintings within the electronics undefined. on the finish of global battle II, Williams all started writing fiction in San Francisco, the place the good fortune of the “backwoods noir” Hill lady (1951) allowed him to surrender his activity and write complete time for the remainder of his life.

Williams’ fresh and a little informal narrative kind distinguishes his novels, which diversity from hard-boiled noir to suspense thrillers, set within the sea and the Deep South. even if released by means of pulp homes, his paintings received nice severe acclaim, with Hell Hath No Fury (1953) changing into the 1st paperback unique to be reviewed by way of mythical big apple instances critic Anthony Boucher. a lot of his novels have been tailored to the display, together with lifeless Calm (1963) and Don’t simply Stand There! (1966), for which Williams wrote the screenplay. He died in 1975.
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Extra info for Talk of the Town (aka "Stain of Suspicion")

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When I opened the door, she ran to me. “I was calling you,” she said. ” “I got a little lost. ” I put my arms around her and held her, and she didn’t pull away. ” CHAPTER 4 Five weeks passed without incident, and it had begun to feel as though Nico Rathburn might never show up. My days with Maddy and Lucia had fallen into a peaceful rhythm, but instead of being relieved by the calm, I found myself feeling restless. On one of my days off, cold rain kept me in my room until late afternoon, when the sun finally broke through.

She’s an affectionate, funny kid. ” Maddy would have to get used to me, a whole new person in her life. I suspected the transition wouldn’t be easy. “Maddy cried every night for a week,” Lucia said. “She still asks about her. I’ve been minding her as best I can, but there’s so much to take care of around here. I’ve only been able to watch Maddy with half an eye. ” I nodded. It sounded as though Maddy was in real need of consistency and love. It would be my job to give her those things. She would need to feel like the center of someone’s world, even if that someone was hired help.

Released after a few months, she seemed to be on track to recovery. She’d gone back to work and was even featured on the cover of Femme, but there didn’t seem to be much news about her after that. A loud bang just outside the computer lab window startled me back into the present. It was only fireworks; more of them crackled and fizzed out on the lawn to laughter and cheering. Still, the noise had set my heart pounding, and a strong surge of foreboding seized me. In what kind of universe did people wander through their neighborhoods in lacy black panties, too stoned to care what other people thought of them, squandering their tremendous good fortune on cocaine and heroin?

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Talk of the Town (aka "Stain of Suspicion") by Charles Williams


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