William E. Wallace is the author of The Judas Hunter, a private detective novel, and Tamer, an upcoming western set in Gold Rush California. He is an veteran investigative reporter who worked 26 years for the San Francisco Chronicle before taking early retirement in 2006 to teach and write fiction full time.
As a reporter he specialized in projects about political corruption, organized crime and police misconduct. His investigative reports won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the San Francisco Press Club.
Wallace has taught journalism at California State University, East Bay in Hayward and at the University of California, Berkeley. He took his bachelor's degree in political science at Cal Berkeley and served as an intelligence analyst while serving in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War.
He lives with his wife and son in Berkeley, California.
Where to find William Wallace online
Where to buy in print
Tamer: An Amos Kuttner Novel
By William Wallace
Published: May 18, 2013.
In the 1849 Gold Rush, former U.S. Army Captain Amos Kuttner is hired by the last military governor of California as a "Tamer," a special agent charged with probing the murder of miners in an isolated part of the territory. During his probe, Kuttner unearths a sinister plot that not only threatens California's pending statehood, but the security of the entire U.S.
I Wait to Die
By William Wallace
Published: April 12, 2013.
A femme fatale named Janice cooked up Redi-Money, a scheme to steal millions of dollars from a lightly guarded check-cashing center; on the surface, it sounded like the heist of a lifetime.
But then dead bodies began piling up and the only question that remained was: whose lifetime were we talking about?
Read "I Wait to Die!" a crime novella by William E. Wallace.
The Judas Hunter
By William Wallace
Published: April 1, 2013.
Private eye Jack Burial is so down-and-out that his cell phone's been cut off and he's about to be evicted from his office. A job tracing a businessman who has betrayed his partners could put Burial back in the black; all he has to do is survive the Mafia, murderous bikers and an irate federal prosecutor while tracking down the Judas without becoming one himself!
By William Wallace
Published: March 29, 2013.
Little Nightmares contains five stories of fantasy and imagination by William E. Wallace, including "Witch's Hat Trick," a modern urban fantasy novelette about an Ukrainian sorcerer who runs afoul of the Russian Mafiya, and "Obeah," a tale of black magic in the Old West.
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Smashwords book reviews by William Wallace
- Severance Kill
on Feb. 17, 2013
In his spy yarn, Severance Kill, author Tim Stevens knocks the ball right over the deepest part of the left field fence.
The book’s hero is Martin Calvary, the most secret kind of secret agent that exists in spy fiction: a guy who works for a British agency, The Chapel, that is so obscure even the people in British intelligence have never heard of it.
Calvary is sent to Prague to assassinate a retired MI6 hand named Ivor Gaines who is suspected of selling out the Brits to the old Soviet Union. This task is made more challenging because Gaines is kidnapped by a Czech organized crime group before Calvary can terminate him.
The spy has to spend most of the rest of the novel trying to track Gaines down, a hunt complicated by the fact that his agency is not the only one looking for the suspected mole: also on the chase are the Russian secret police, who have made Gaines a top priority target for some “wet” work of their own.
The pursuit occurs at breakneck pace, with violent episodes aboard a Czech passenger tram, a bookstore, a café, a hospital, a public park and a half dozen other sites. Calvary remains steadily one half step behind his opposition, but the guy is so good at mayhem that the fact he is playing catch up throughout the book hardly seems to be a disadvantage.
In the background is always the open question: what will Calvary do when he finally does catch up to the suspected mole? Will he kill Gaines? Turn him over to the Russians? Let him go? To Stevens’ credit, he manages to make the outcome uncertain until the very end of the book.
Severance Kill has everything you want in a spy novel: plenty of exotic atmosphere, a menacing aura of menace, automatic weapons, high speed vehicular chases and a body count large enough to have changed the outcome of the Vietnam War. There is even a hint of romance between Calvary and a young Czech woman who becomes enmeshed in the action.
In addition to the frantic pace and high-stakes violence, the novel is driven by a series of subplots and back stories that add just enough intrigue to augment the action. How did Calvary come to be recruited by The Chapel? Who really is the double agent? Will the plucky activists trying to publicize the Czech underworld succeed or will they be wiped out by the gangsters beforehand? What drives the aging female Russian intelligence bureaucrat who is trying to grab Gaines and rub Calvary out in the process?
And last but not least, will Calvary succeed in making this “one last job” his means to escape from his unscrupulous and underhand Chapel bosses?
The Russians are cold-blooded, the gangsters are vicious and barbaric, the activists dedicated and pure, and our hero is cynical and world-weary. Mercifully, there are no ejection seats in Aston-Martins, no briefcases with tear gas bombs, and no other gadgetry more complicated than pair of radio tracers and a hand drill (don’t ask how it comes into play – believe me, you need to know that like you need a hole in the head!)
Severance Kill is a real throwback – an old-fashioned page turner filled with chills, thrills and suspense with a minimum of psychoanalysis and a blessed absence of bedroom scenes. It is short, sweet and to the point, and offers a perfect diversion for the armchair espionage fan who wants to spend a few highly enjoyable hours reading a tightly-plot adventure yarn.
A couple of writing quirks gave me pause, including Stevens’ reference to bullet holes “spackling” the windows of automobiles (every definition of “to spackle” I could find involved filling holes, not making them). But the book is remarkably free of bad writing and editing, which made it a pleasure to sit down and wolf my way through like a hungry man eating bon bons.
Stevens, a doctor for the British National Health who lives in Essex, has a blog called, appropriately enough, “Dead Drop.” He has written two earlier spy novels featuring an agent named John Purkiss that I look forward to reading.