The Flyleaf Killer
William A Prater
ISBN: 978-1-84624-123-9 271 pages, Hardback, 162mm x 240mm.
The Book Guild
Price: £ 9.99
About the Book
Anne Loader writes: "The Flyleaf Killer" is a gripping psychological thriller with a teasing diabolical underlay. It's a real page turner - I read it in one session, starting in mid-evening and finishing at 1.30am. It's not a "who-dunnit" but a "why-did-he-do-it?" and a "will-he-get-away-with-it?"
The story is gruesome and not for the squeamish. It is told from two viewpoints, that of the highly-intelligent killer, Robert Strudwick, a disturbed teenager who makes a pact with the manipulative vendor of the diabolical Book, and of the detective inspector who investigates his sadistic serial murders and falls unwittingly under his spell.
The book rattles along at a fine pace and draws a good picture of its two protagonists. The plot catches the reader in its web and keeps him tangled there until the very last page - and maybe beyond.
The author, William A Prater, is to be congratulated, for this is his first novel. I'm a great fan of the work of Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine, who often tells her tales through the eyes of a murderer, and whilst reading "The Flyleaf Killer" I had the same feelings of being an unwilling witness to the workings of a deranged but logical mind.
William A Prater has packed a wealth of experience into an interesting life and career. Born the son of a farm worker at West Molesey, he moved to Esher with his family at the age of 7, when his father left farming in favour of something more financially rewarding.
He attended Esher C of E school; won Francis Mary Eastwood prizes over several years for ‘Proficiency in Knowledge of the Bible’, most notably First Prize in December 1939 – a beautifully illustrated Bible, and was a choirboy at Esher Parish Church from the age of 9 until his thirteenth year when his boyish soprano plummeted earthwards. Marking time with a variety of jobs until he was old enough, Bill signed with the Regular Army (REME) in 1948.
The young soldier learned to box and saw service in Far Eastern Land Forces Hong Kong – where he won a tournament championship as a lightweight, and served with the 1st Commonwealth Division during the Korean War before returning to the UK in 1952.
He married Jean in 1953, who accompanied him together with their young son on his posting to Tripoli in 1956. Their daughter happened along eventually during 1964.
Returning to civilian life in 1961, he joined a nationally-known pre-cast concrete manufacturer and in 1966 became works manager at one of their factories in Cheshire. He was later appointed to a similar position at the group’s structural steel fabrication plant in Trafford Park, becoming redundant in 1973 when he joined a small building firm as an administrator. His appointment to general manager followed in 1975.
He is a keen photographer and became a licensed radio amateur and member of the Radio Society of Great Britain in 1984 and, as G0EOL, made many friends around the world – some of whom have visited from as far away as Australia and New Zealand.
An accomplished DIY’er, Bill ceased full-time employment in 1985 and put his talents to work on refurbishing run-down properties, moving house on a number of occasions as a consequence. He is now retired.
Having written The Flyleaf Killer in ‘odd spare moments’, he has a file full of ideas and is currently working on a new novel - something entirely different.