Created by Sydney J Bounds (pseuds. include Maxwell Chance, V. L. Scott, Max Storm & George Sydney; also used house pseudonyms Brett Diamond, Earl Ellison, Rick Madison, Rex Marlowe, Desmond Reid & Peter Saxon; 1920 - 2006)
What makes Terror Rides the West Wind (1951) interesting is its plot.
BILL RAYMOND is a New York operative who travels to the town of Lynx Falls to take an assignment for Dorothy Peters. He finds that Lynx Falls is in the hands of mob law. The town's leaders are totally corrupt and all power is in the hands of a number of gangs. The only exceptions are Dorothy Peters (daughter of the deceased boss of Lynx Falls) and the Jerry Goodrich, the editor of the Lynx Falls Gazette.
Dorothy wants Raymond to '"take on the job of running all those crooks out of town.' You can see where this is going, right?
Raymond manipulates the gangs into open warfare against each other until all the leaders are dead and all the gangs broken up. In the end he also gets the girl. It's a pretty standard plot, used most famously in Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest, featuring The Continental Op, and Paul Cain's Fast One. This isn't in the same ballpark as either of those but it is a very good well-plotted hardboiled novel.
Born in Brighton, England in 1920, Sydney J. Bounds Bounds was yet another British 'pulp' author. He worked as an electrical fitter before moving to Kingston-on-Thames, where he studied electrical engineering at a Technical College. A long-time fan of science fiction, he joined the Science Fiction Association in 1937, and began writing science fiction and fantasy, first for amateur magazines, and quickly progressed to professional publications. He was primarily known as a science fiction writer but he was incredibly prolific (if not always imaginative)-- over a long, long career he also wrote horror, western, fantasy, war, children's and hard-boiled crime fiction, the latter under a plethora of suitably toughpen and house names, including Rex Marlowe and Brett Diamond.
And he seemed to cross easily from one genre to another. As one critic noted,
"... there are style crossovers slipstreaming from one subgenre to another. "Grant In Aid" from a 1956 issue of Authentic SF adopts a mean-streets hard-boiled gumshoe detective voice, 'I had my feet up and a bottle tilted to my lips when the door opened...' The denouement is alien. The plot development pure crime scene investigation."
Among the more intriguingly titled (and presumably straight) crime novels he was responsible for are Mink Makes a Good Shroud and Blondes Arent So Dumb (both 1950 by Earl Ellison), Hell Hath No Fury (1951 by Rex Marloweand The Girl Hunters (2006, under his own name -- proving that -- if nothing else -- he was still more than happy to borrow anything he could get his hands on -- a pen name, a plot, even a title -- even late in his career).
Report respectfully submitted by. Eric Chambers, with additional legwork by Kevin Burton Smith
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