The Big Bite by Charles Williams

The Big Bite by Charles Williams

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An ex-football player and a crooked insurance man cook up a blackmail scheme

Professional football player John Harlan is driving back from a lakeside cabin when a drunk driver named Cannon knocks him off the road. When he comes to, Harlan’s leg is shattered and Cannon is dead. His career over, Harlan goes on a bender, and a few days after his hangover clears, he dives headfirst into a life of immorality.

An insurance investigator named Purvis is checking into Cannon’s death, hoping to avoid laying out $100,000 to his widow. He suspects Cannon may have survived the accident, only to be murdered while Harlan was unconscious—and the more he talks about it, the more Harlan believes it. They devisea plan to blackmail dear Mrs. Cannon, but if Harlan was a pro on the field, he’s an amateur in the underworld. Next to what the lovely widow is going to do to him, football is a cakewalk.


“[Williams] is just about as good as they come.” - New York Times 

“One of the neglected hardboiled geniuses . . . his novels were perfect little gems.” - Joe R. Lansdale, author of Savage Season

“Relying on wit, humor and ingenious plotting, Williams's characters constantly attempt to outwit the system.” - Woody Haut, author of Pulp Culture

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This novel served as the basis for the 1964 French film, Le Gros coup.