|Evan Hunter (aka Ed McBain)|
|Evan Hunter (or Ed McBain) was a writer and a genius. It is not
just me who thinks that by the way; he had more awards from people who really
do know what they are talking about than you can shake a stick at.
I have been reading his books since the early 1970's and must have very nearly one hundred by now. Although he was an American chap his books are easily read by somebody, like myself, from the other side of the 'pond'. There are none of the 'Americanizations' which 'outsiders' can find so baffling; his words are understandable - his plots are sensational.
His major works are the 87th Precinct novels. They are about a police station in a city which, whilst not so named, I have always believed to be his home town of New York. The characters, both the goodies and the baddies, weave a wonderful thread through all the books - some baddies (like the 'Deaf Man') reappearing after a quite long absence.
He also wrote under his own name which was Evan Hunter. Perhaps his most famous book under that name is the 'Blackboard Jungle'. Most people, if not familiar with the book, have seen the wonderful film, starring Glenn Ford and Sidney Poitier.
His given name was Salvatore Lombino and he was, as the name suggests, from Italian stock. He changed his name (officially) to Evan Hunter some time, I think, in the early 1950's - though I know not why.
Sadly I never met Evan Hunter - I just quietly worshipped him from afar! As it happens my mam DID meet him. He came to Manchester for a book signing some years ago and I was away on holiday! My mam saved the day, however, by queuing for ages in the rain to get his autograph for me - it remains one of my most treasured possessions.
Evan Hunter died on the 6th of July 2005. He died from cancer and wrote the most brave book about his illness (Let's Talk). His passing has made my life that little less exciting. Although I never met him I felt that I knew him. I most certainly loved him.
If you have never read one of his books then you are missing an absolute treat. Go to the website at - http://www.edmcbain.com/ and discover more about this wonderful and talented man.