William Deverell — Novelist

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

The Dance of Shiva

ECW Cover for The Dance of Shiva

This novel introduces Arthur Beauchamp, the brilliant but self-doubting alcoholic lawyer who ultimately became the mainstay character of my current fiction series. It also marks the first appearance of the rowdy firm of Pomeroy, Macarthur, Brovak and Sage, whose antics, triumphs, and mishaps feature in several later novels. Some are based on lawyers I have known, as is one of the central characters, a brilliant self-styled guru I faithfully represented – until, to my astonishment, he was exposed as a charlatan who fleeced his flock.


The story: in a grisly Canadian echo of Jonestown, twenty members of a cult are found savagely executed in an isolated island on Canada’s West Coast, and their leader, Shiva Ram Acharya, is brought to trial for their murder. After an accident immobilizes his lawyer, Arthur Beauchamp, junior counsel Max Macarthur faces the greatest challenge of his young career when he is thrust into the role of defence counsel. Macarthur gradually becomes convinced of his innocence and embarks on a quest for the true murderer, but he slowly falls under the hypnotic sway of the enigmatic Shiva.

“An absolute delight, at times extremely witty, always urbane and gripping … Read and enjoy!” Victoria Times-Colonist

“The most gripping courtroom drama since Anatomy of a Murder.” Globe and Mail

“A real winner … Deverell has become a national treasure.” Windsor Star

“Written in such an intensely believable and interesting way … it’s impossible to put this book down.” Edmonton Journal

“Truly engrossing.” Winnipeg Free Press

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