Ill Wind

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At ten o’clock one rainy April morning of 1955 an ambulance entered the public square of Morgan, Alabama, with its siren going. There were probably six hundred people – office workers, merchants, shoppers and idlers – in or within earshot of the square at that hour of a weekday morning, and most of them stopped what they were doing to listen. Morgan was a small town and the sound of a siren, whether on a fire truck, police car, or ambulance, was rare enough to attract general attention when it occurred. It was a ...
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1985 Trade paperback New. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 208 p. never read: posted 8/14-ed-6399975

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Overview

At ten o’clock one rainy April morning of 1955 an ambulance entered the public square of Morgan, Alabama, with its siren going. There were probably six hundred people – office workers, merchants, shoppers and idlers – in or within earshot of the square at that hour of a weekday morning, and most of them stopped what they were doing to listen. Morgan was a small town and the sound of a siren, whether on a fire truck, police car, or ambulance, was rare enough to attract general attention when it occurred. It was a long black ambulance of the kind that doubles as a hearse in towns the size of Morgan, and the speed it was traveling at testified to the fact that something bad had happened to somebody.

When Charlie Mott shot himself in his office at the courthouse, it sent shockwaves through the quiet little town of Morgan. He’d been the County Tax Collector for almost a decade. Everyone in town knew him…or did they? Was it a tragic accident or an attempt at suicide? Was there an issue with the county books or was that just a malicious rumor? With elections just around the corner and a state audit pending, there were just enough questions to divide the town and put more than one man’s reputation in jeopardy. Small wonder that rumors flew, loyalties wavered, decisions were made, and a small town became a live volcano.

Ill Wind captures life in a small town in the late 50’s with acute clarity – from the regret over past mistakes, to repressed feelings of love, to the gossip spread at the bridge clubs and the barbershop, to the struggle for political power and control of the community. It’s a taught, compelling novel that lays bare the emotions, ambitions, and struggles of the townspeople of Morgan as they react to a tragic event that leaves more questions than answers it its wake.

Praise for Ill Wind
“Ill Wind is a passionate and lyrical novel written by a man with an extraordinary ear and an eye for the right detail.” – Edward Gorman

“Ill Wind is…about perfect. Succinctly written with excellent characterization and with good pace. A real fine job.” – W. R. Burnett
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780916870928
  • Publisher: Creative Arts Book Company
  • Publication date: 10/28/1985
  • Pages: 208

Meet the Author

William L. Heath was born in 1924, in Lake Village, Arkansas, and grew up in Scottsboro, Alabama. In 1942 he entered the University of Virginia, but his attendance there was interrupted when he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, in which he served for three years as an aerial radio operator during WWII. He served overseas for seventeen months in the CBI theatre, flying the Hump, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Mr. Heath returned to the University of Virginia after his discharge and completed a B.A. degree in English Literature. During his senior year there, he published several short stories in the school magazine, won the Virginia Spectator Literary Award, and sold his first story to Collier’s. He went on to publish three dozen short stories, that were published in Argosy, Esquire, Collier’s, Cosmopolitan, and other publications of smaller circulation.

His first novel, Violent Saturday, was published in 1955 and also sold to 20th Century Fox as a motion picture with an all-star cast including Victor Mature, Richard Egan, Stephen McNally, Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine.

His second novel, Ill Wind, received literary acclaim and established him as a writer with exceptional talent. He followed Ill Wind with eight more novels over the course of his career.
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