The hunted man in American crime writing, plus some questions for readers
The Fugitive was on television from 1963 through 1967, for example, but the idea belongs to the previous decade. The series' creator, Roy Huggins, had written a virtual prototype for The Fugitive as one of three novellas published in 1958 under the title 77 Sunset Strip.
In the 1950s, Gil Brewer wrote novels about men trapped and on the run. So did Charles Williams, Day Keene, and Harry Whittington, and those are just the authors I've been reading recently.
Here are the names of magazines where the stories collected in Brewer's Redheads Die Quickly first appeared: Manhunt.The Pursuit Detective Story Magazine. Hunted Detective Story Magazine. Accused Detective Story Magazine. Trapped Detective Story Magazine.
I had previously heard of none except the celebrated Manhunt, and I have no idea if they were issued by one publisher or several, or of who started the craze. But something about the hunted man captured the fancy of the American public in a big-way for a few years there. Why? If you're up on your crime-fiction and American cultural history, who started the rage for such stories, and who were its leading publishers?
© Peter Rozovsky 2015