Contribution

(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

William Campbell Gault was one of the few writers of detective fiction able to take various motifs from the different pulp magazine genres—sports, mystery, science fiction—and blend them into a distinctive style of his own. Gault’s fiction deals with themes of racial, ethnic, and social equality. His most successful fictional character, Brock “the Rock” Callahan, maintains a gruff, no-nonsense demeanor while championing the defenseless.

Gault’s style is tough and fast-paced, true to its pulp-magazine genesis, yet he manages to evoke compassion for and understanding of all his characters. Through former football star Callahan, Gault elaborates on the sports credo of fair play, showing how it can be applied to the urban world of manipulators and murderers.