William Deverell — Novelist

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

High Crimes

A merry band of Newfoundland smugglers carrying on a grand tradition. A high-powered RCMP inspector obsessed with their capture. A day-dreaming police scientist caught in a dilemma between the call of duty and his infatuation with a voluptuous femme fatale. A multi-million-dollar cargo of pot on a creaky freighter. A merry high-seas romp from Newfoundland to Colombia to Miami and the North Atlantic. Undercover plots, double-dealing, triple betrayal, and murder. The events are drawn from one of this lawyer-author’s celebrated trials.



High Crimes sprang directly from one of my trials, Regina versus Sexton et al, an entrapment case in which the RCMP and DEA supplied unwary Newfie smugglers with the ship, captain, crew, and seventeen tons of low-grade pot. A satellite tracking device hidden aboard stalked them to an inlet north of Tofino, B.C., where contact was lost during the transfer to a pair of fishing vessels when the fog rolled in, despite there being 100 officers on the surrounding hills and in boats. Allegedly, some of the missing pot helped pay my fees.

“This is just a cracking good read…The story has more twists than the TransCanada highway and no less than three trick endings. Deverell is quickly becoming a national treasure.” Toronto Star

“Deverell’s lean mean style gives off sparks. A thriller of the first rank.” Publishers Weekly

“A fast-moving swinging story of intrigue, suspense, action and mayhem … he writes grittily, and all his characters are all colorful rogues.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Brilliantly written, deliciously crafted. Deverell is a master of suspense and fun.” Sacramento Union

“Deverell is a master of the intricate plot that keeps the reader off balance, meanwhile allowing the suspense to build… A first-rate thriller.” Memphis Commercial Apeal

“Every detail meshes like clockwork… Deverell is a great storyteller with a nice sense of timing and a pretty touch for black humor.” Globe and Mail

“High Crimes is a gripping novel of power-mongering, suspense and intrigue, with a thrilling triple-twist conclusion.” Mystery News

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