Published 1979



Lawyer Foster Cobb prosecutes the mysterious Dr. Au, the West Coast’s primary drug trafficker. But Cobb — under pressure of a failing practice and a disintegrating marriage — has himself taken up a long-abandoned heroin habit. With a racing plot and dramatic flip-flops, Deverell’s literary page-turner takes the reader into the seamy undergrowth of crooked cops, Asian drug lords, and a super-charged courtroom scene. Winner of the $50,000 Seal First Novel Prize in 1979, William Deverell’s Needles has gone on to sell 250,000 copies. Deverell’s first novel launched his career, and since then his books have sold over 1,000,000 copies in various editions.

Reviews of Needles

Winner of the $50,000 Seal Prize, Needles pits a brilliant prosecutor - himself facing personal disaster and heroin addiction - 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. The action culminates in a rivetting courtroom scene and a bloody showdown

"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 Reviews

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