William Deverell — Novelist

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


ECWPress Cover of Needles

Winner of the $50,000 Seal First Novel Award, Needles pits a sharp, tough prosecutor, Foster Cobb - whose struggles with a runaway wife has led him to a crippling heroin habit - against a notorious, psychopathic heroin importer, Dr. Au, known as “the Surgeon,” who goes on a killing spree in Vancouver’s seedy world of prostitutes, pushers, and hit men. With the aid of a corrupt narc, he zeroes in on Cobb, his nemesis, his prosecutor. The action culminates in a riveting courtroom scene and a bloody showdown.



Many of the events and characters are drawn from real life – though altered, for obvious reasons – and are based on my three decades of practice in the criminal courts.

“A find, a find; it must be shouted from the rooftops” London Daily Telegraph

“Deverell has a narrative style so lean that scenes and characters seem to explode on the page. He makes the evil of his plot breathtaking and his surprises like shattering glass.” Philadelphia Bulletin

“Spell-binding, first-rate … A brilliant craftsman of suspense.” Buffalo News

“Masterful. Needles belongs in the top international class.” Hamilton Spectator

“Seamy and steamy, sexy and sassy. A winner all around.” Globe and Mail

“Chillingly suspensful.” Montreal Gazette

“The potting is generous with wicked twists, the cops and lawyers are sweetly-and-sourly unromanticized, and the courtroom banter is thoroughly convincing.” Kirkus Review

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