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Bill Prentice Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Why Was Rachel Murdered? (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Bill Prentice is a Toronto based writer. He writes crime fiction and works as a freelance writer who specializes in things such as: investment marketing and international trade, public-private sector partnerships and economic development.

His debut novel, which is called “Why Was Rachel Murdered?”, was published in the year 2018. It was published by Echo Road, a publisher based in Toronto, Canada. This is also his first book that Neil Walker, who is a private investigator who once worked as a financial-crimes specialist, stars in. The novel is political and financial intrigue thriller, and features a plot that was ripped from the headlines of today.

“Why Was Rachel Murdered?” was selected as a finalist for the 2019 Best First Crime Novel Award by Crime Writers of Canada. “Afghan Silk” made the shortlist for the Arthur Ellis Unhanged Arthur Award as one of the best unpublished crime novels in the year 2015.

Research for the novel “Why Was Rachel Murdered?” came not from online sources, but from many of Bill Prentice’s real life experiences. While he worked for over thirty years as a freelance writer, he worked often in the fields of public policy and international investment. Prentice helped to craft different trade policy documents and even also participated in some closed-door briefings of cabinet ministers- either the bad, the good, or the stupid.

Inspiration for the novel came from his watching the 2008 global financial meltdown that ruined dreams and savings of millions of folks around the world. While he kept track of everything that was going on, the heedless greed of the fat cats responsible, as well as for the aura of entitlement surrounding them while they each stepped in and out of their limos.

All of their greed, he felt, was simply criminal, yet not a single one of them went to jail for any of it. Especially their attitude during the meltdown. Like they knew they were the cause of the meltdown and were flaunting the fact that they had not been touched by any of it. They were covered in Teflon, and they all knew it well. Many of these same players are still running things, something that makes Bill angry. Anger, for a writer, makes for powerful inspiration, especially in Bill’s case. It is something that gets him behind his computer and his hands on the keyboard, typing out his next story.

The book, for him, throws a cruel spotlight on this awful reality. The feedback from readers shows that it succeeds as a fast-paced thriller, too. Many readers have even noted just how authentic all of it feels.

This novel has been compared to Robert B Parker’s Spenser as well as Robert Crais’ Elvis Cole, who happen to both be long-time favorite sleuths of Prentice’s.

The best writing advice he has ever heard is: bum-in-chair, hands-on-keyboard (also known as BIC-HOK). There is not a substitute for it. Writing can be frustrating, sometimes even painful and yet, at times, can be intensely rewarding. This system is unbeatable as the way to better writing. This is the only way to get the book you are writing finished, allowing you to get started on the writing of the next one.

As a writer, Bill Prentice considers himself to be a plotter, as opposed to someone who writes by the seat of their pants. He works out the key events in the overall story arc, and sketches in the main characters before he has finished a first draft. Bill is also a big believer in getting the structure of the story right, first. Which is probably because he began his writing career in writing scripts for television, where the structure is God.

For him, being nominated for the Best Unpublished First Crime Novel was both transformative and a huge validation. “Afghan Silk” was the first novel he had ever written, despite spending many years as a writer before that, and was the first shown to anybody outside of his family. The warm response to his previous novel gave him the confidence to finally sit down and write “Why Was Rachel Murdered?”.

Even though Bill was flattered by the positive response to “Afghan Silk”, it is set in the fast-changing global medical marijuana industry. He would have to spend time updating it all and re-write different parts, and he would rather spend more of his time working on a new story. It just sits on his hard drive untouched, as for the future, he is unsure of publishing it.

“Why Was Rachel Murdered?” is the first novel in the “Neil Walker” series, which was released in the year 2018. The murder of a mathematician and mathematics professor (who is named Rachel Lisgar) pulls Toronto based private investigator Neil Walker into the case. He gets sucked right into a web of political corruption, Ponzi schemes, and cyber security nightmares. Walker, who is a former RCMP financial-crimes specialist, has beaten battling bikers and has put Mafia dons in prison in his career. Now, he must work with a woman named Carole Lisgar, who is a high-powered political operator that he once arrested for corruption. Carole is also Rachel’s sister.

While the bodies quickly start to stack up, Walker finds a conspiracy that goes from Parliament Hill in Ottawa to a beach-front estate near New York City. It even touches the devastated villages of earthquake ruined Haiti.

One reviewer said that Bill Prentice delivers political bribery, betrayal, international conspiracy, and money laundering, and the novel is the beginning of an author who is worth reading. This is a well written novel that makes for some easy reading that kept some readers on the edge of their seat. The book is gripping and compels the reader to put off doing any work that they truly need to get done. The storytelling moves quickly and the plot includes some strong and well designed characters. Neil Walker is a likable character, as is Carole Lisgar, and some readers would not mind more stories with these two characters. For some, this book makes readers want to check out more of this author’s work, and feel he is an author to watch.

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