Rough-and-ready ED RIVERS is an op for The Nationwide Detective Agency, in charge of their Southeastern Office in pre-boomtown Tampa, Florida, with a face only a mother, or a certain type of woman, could love. It's been described variously as deeply tanned, deeply creased, brutish, thuggish and bearish. "Women either get a charge from (it) or want to run...Men fear it or trust it to the hilt." Just to be on the safe side, Ed carries a knife (in a sheath at the nape of his neck) and a .38, and he'll use them if he has to. He's not a guy to mess around with.
Years ago, he was a cop in Jersey but his girl at the time dumped him for a hood, and then the two of them subsequently lost a race with a freight train to a crossing. Ed quit the force and devoted his energies for the next several years to drinking and drifting, taking various odd jobs when it seemed he was in danger of running out of money, or even worse, sobering up. He landed in Tampa, and landed a gig as a stevedore, before Nationwide decided to take a chance on him. He's been their man in Florida ever since.
Ed's first appearance was in a short story in the July 1949 issue of Black Mask, albeit under another name. In that original story he was known as LLOYD CARTER. Powell's five subsequent Ed Rivers books, all paperback originals published by Pocket Books, are all well-written, emotionally-satisfying reads, solid entries in the genre, and don't cheat the reader. You could do a lot worse than dig these puppies up; a definite cut above most of the P.I. novels of the era.
Powell was one of the latter day pulpsters, the author of over five hundred stories and sixteen novelsunder his own name, and a variety of pseudonyms, including Robert Hart Davis, Milton T. Lamb, Jack McCready, Dave Sands, Milton Land, Robert Henry and Anne Talmage. His work appeared in pulps such as Dime Detective, Dime Mystery, Detective Tales, Ten Detecive Aces, Doc Savage, The Shadow, G-Men Detective, Ranch Romances, Fifteen Western Tales, Hollywood Detective, Crack Detective, Black Mask and later, in the crime digests, such as Ellery Queen, Alfred Hitchcock, Mike Shayne, Manhunt and Suspense. He ghost-wrote four Ellery Queen novels in the 1960's and also worked as a staff writer for television's Alfred Hitchcock Presents. In the forties and fifties he was also a frequent contributor to such top-of-the-line Western pulps as Dime Western, 15 Western Tales and Western Story. His one Western novel, The Gage, a powerfully offbeat account of a manhunt across a southwestern desert, was filmed in France. In early 2000, he passed away in a hospital in Asheville, NC, an Appalachian town where he had lived for some time.
| Home | Detectives A-L M-Z | Film | Radio | Television | Web Comics | Comics | FAQs |
Drop a dime. Your comments, suggestions, corrections and contributions are always welcome.