William Deverell — Novelist

The official website of William Deverell, Winner of the Dashiell Hammett Award for Literary Excellence in North American Crime Writing


This novel was inspired by the CIA’s infamous MK-ULTRA program, which used electroshock, sleep deprivation, and massive doses of behaviour-altering drugs, primarily LSD, on unsuspecting Canadians in a Montreal clinic to test how to break their wills. Soon after the novel’s release, my screenplay based on the book was shot in Montreal, starring Christopher Plummer as the evil Dr. Sartorius.



The plot: A psychological time bomb is triggered in homicide detective Kellen O’Reilly as he begins to experience disturbing flashbacks of his unresolved and turbulent past. As he searches for answers, he finds himself targeted in a covert op that seeks to destroy not just his memory but his life, O’Reilly is plunged into an ever-widening web of intrigue involving the CIA, the FBI, the Mafia, and his own police force. Events in his past become linked to secret government experiments, unveiled in a startling, explosive climax.

“The reader, glued to the page, has no choice but to discover the outcome. An after having finished, the beDeverelled reader hungers for more of the same.” Ottawa Citizen

“Another high-octane Canadian thriller from Deverell” Kirkus Reviews

“The tension of this clever action-packed adventure builds to a chilling midnight finale.” Toronto Star

“An entertaining and cleverly woven whodunit … many fast-paced, highly visual scenes.” Western Report

“Mindfield is reminiscent of William Goldman’s books, such as heat and magic. A page turner…” Montreal Gazette

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