Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  William Wells  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: in Detroit, Michigan

-- Website --
-- William Wells on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Wells lived in a Chicago suburb.

Biographical and Professional Information

William Wells graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, with a B.A. degree in English literature. He was rock music critic for the Detroit Free Press and a staff writer for four other newspapers, a radio disc jockey, speechwriter for the governor of Michigan, author of an internationally syndicated comic strip, marketing agency executive, and founder and owner of a custom publishing company. He served aboard a US Navy destroyer and as a Navy Journalist. Born in Detroit, he has lived in a Chicago suburb with his wife, Mary, and now resides on the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast.

Published Works

    Hope's Road: A Novel, Vantage Point, 2012Ride Away Home, The Permanent Press, 2014Detective Fiction, The Permanent Press, 2016Face of the Devil, Dagger Books, forthcoming in 2016

Selected Titles At Your Library

Hope's road :
ISBN: 1936467291. OCLC Number:

. .

When Jack and Jenna Tanner's daughter Hope disappears from her off-campus apartment at the University of Wisconsin, her boyfriend, Slater Babcock, is the prime suspect, but there is no solid evidence of his guilt.Two years later, Jack has been fired from his job as a corporate tax attorney, Jenna is hospitalized after a mental breakdown, Hope has not been found, and Slater Babcock is enjoying the good life in Key West. In desperation, Jack buys a motorcycle and sets out to Key West, thinking that the journey might give him the courage to confront his daughter's killer in a quest for a confession, and revenge.

Ride away home /
ISBN: 157962359X. OCLC Number:

. .

It has been two years since Hope — Jack and Jenna Tanner's bright and beautiful only child — walked out of her off-campus apartment at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and vanished into the night. Since then, Jenna's grief has led to a mental breakdown and she is in a psychiatric hospital. Jack has been unable to concentrate on business and has lost his job as a tax attorney. Meanwhile, Slater Babcock, Hope's college boyfriend, and the only suspect in her disappearance, is enjoying the decadent life of a rich man's spoiled son in Key West, Florida. The police have no solid evidence of Slater's guilt, but Jack is convince that Slater is responsible.   Jack has never been the adventurous type. But he decides he must confront Slater and somehow get him to reveal what happened to Hope. To do this, he knows he needs to become a man of decisive action. So he buys a Harley-Davidson Road King motorcycle and sets out on a 1,900-mile journey to the southern-most tip of the country, to Land's End Key West.   Along the way, Jack encounters a series of characters unlike any he's ever met, including Hannah, the young street hustler; the Devil's Disciples, certainly the most unlikely sort of motorcycle gang there ever was; a  psychopathic 300-pound survivalist nicknamed Big Foot; and, in Key West, a man who looks and behaves like Ernest Hemingway, and who may or may not actually believe that he is the great writer.   Ride along with Jack Tanner on his personal journey of heartbreak, self-discovery and ultimate redemption.

Detective fiction /
ISBN: 1579624316. OCLC Number:

. .

A serial killer is on the loose in Naples, Florida, an enclave of wealth and privilege on the Southwest Gulf Coast. At first, the murders have been disguised as accidents, but when Police Chief Wade Hansen becomes suspicious, Mayor Charles Beaumont orders him to apprehend the killer before the truth becomes public knowledge. Hansen reaches out to retired Chicago homicide detective Jack Starkey. Starkey, who has been shot three times: twice on the job and once in the army, is enjoying every cop's retirement dream, but at the same time, misses the thrill of the hunt, so he accepts the job. As the bodies stack up like cordwood, Starkey searches for anything that the victims might have in common. He decides to go undercover as a member of the Naples elite in an attempt to get himself noticed by the killer, drawing the attention of Count Vasily Petrovich, who operates a hedge fund named for the Atocha, a Spanish galleon that sank in a hurricane off the Florida Keys in 1622. When Starkey discovers that all of the victims so far had been investors in that fund, and that the count is not a count at all, but a member of the Russian mafia he suspects that the Atocha Fund might have a substantial penalty for early withdrawal. Meanwhile, William Stevens, a Chicago Tribune police reporter, has been writing a series of best-selling crime novels based upon his pal Starkey's career. Starkey's alter-ego is Chicago homicide detective Jack Stoney. Things are not what they seem, plot twists abound, and the bullets begin to fly. Starkey, in desperation, reaches out to the fictional Stoney, to help him catch the killer.


Detective Fiction

  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

    Speaking Engagements

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