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Dr. William Rawlings Novels


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Various books by local author Dr. William Rawlings.


A Killing on Ring Jaw Bluff: the Great Recession and the Death of Small-Town GeorgiaThis book recounts the rise and fall of Georgias rural population as told through the story of Charles Graves Rawlings. His life followed that of cotton-based agriculture after the Civil War and along with it the rise and fall of Georgias small towns. From modest beginnings as a liveryman, he acquired nearly 40,000 acres of land, as well as a bank, a railroad, and diverse other businesses. By 1920, he was one of the states wealthier men, with a loving wife and family, and powerful political connections. Five years later he was facing a sentence of life in prison for his role in the alleged murder of his first cousin, Gus Tarbutton. The growth of wealth in rural Georgia during the first two decades of the twentieth century was dramatic, as was the economic crash that accompanied and followed the so-called Great Recession of 1920.


CrosswordA Yankee lawyer semi-retired from a prestigious New York firm. Clues hidden in a series of crossword puzzles. One of America’s leading art auction houses. Missing millions stolen from a Middle Eastern terror group. The planned assassination of Georgia’s senior Senator. They are all woven together in the intricately crafted and fast-moving plot of Crossword, Rawlings’s fourth and arguably best novel.Matt Rutherford (of The Rutherford Cipher) finds himself dragged unwillingly into having to search for the cause of one murder which will result in his own assassination if he fails to solve the puzzle. Joining forces with the brilliant Lisa Li, the two are caught in a life and death struggle between forces of good and evil, neither of which can be trusted.As one reviewer wrote, “The climaxes keep coming.” You’ll be on the edge of your seat until the very end.


Six Inches Deeper: the Disappearance of Hellen HanksOn August 31, 1972, Hellen Hanks, a pretty thirty-four-year-old mother of three disappeared from her place of employment at Wilcox Advertising in Valdosta, Georgia. After a brief investigation by local and state authorities, the case went cold. In the fall of 1980, a farmer clearing a field south of town discovered a buried object, a box containing the dismembered remains of the missing woman. After several months of investigation, police arrested "Foxy" Wilcox, his son Keller Wilcox, and two long-term African American employees of Wilcox Advertising. Keller was charged with Hanks's murder, and the others with concealing a death. The Wilcoxes were members of a prominent and wealthy Valdosta family. To defend their case, they hired famed defense attorney Bobby Lee Cook. Keller Wilcox's murder trial in January 1982 pitted Cook against a local prosecution team led by district attorney Lamar Cole. The case against Wilcox was entirely circumstantial, making the outcome uncertain. After a trial marked by controversy and conflicting testimony, Wilcox was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, all the while proclaiming his innocence. In 1985 he was freed by a federal judge based primarily on the harsh interrogation of the black witnesses. The true story of this horrific murder has all the elements of a work of suspense fiction: money, power, sex, race, and the haves vs. the have-nots. Multiple lives were forever changed. The outcome would have been totally different if the box had been buried only six inches deeper.


The Girl with the Kaleidoscope Eyes - John Wesley O'Toole, a disbarred former attorney, is trying to make a new start in life as an art dealer in Savannah, Georgia, after his release from prison. He is struggling financially when he is approached by a prominent wealthy businessman and offered a significant sum to help recover a painting that's been stolen by the man's estranged granddaughter, Lucy. It's an offer O'Toole can't afford to refuse, and seemingly his one chance to avoid losing everything he's worked for. With the help of Jenna, O'Toole's friend and sometimes lover, he sets out to find the missing painting, and with it, the missing granddaughter. When Lucy's body is discovered at the site of a planned meeting between the two, O'Toole is arrested and charged with kidnapping and murder. Set in historic Savannah, the tale twists and turns to arrive at an unexpected and shocking ending.


The Lazard LegacyTired of the big city and fleeing a broken relationship, Dr. Ben Pike returns home to Walkerville, Georgia, and to a reunion with his estranged family, the Lazards, who have dominated the region for generations, but a series of mysterious deaths and a beautiful woman in jeopardy turn his attempts ot uncover his legacy into a nightmare.


The Mile High ClubThe naked body of a beautiful young woman is discovered deep in the Georgia timberlandsa plane crash some 30 miles away contains her ID and a naked male body. So begins Rawlings's fast moving tale of corporate intrigue, cutting edge research in biofuels, private jets, and small town politics plus the mysterious death of seemingly innocent woman. A Matt Rutherford thriller.


The Rutherford CipherIt's been a long time since Matt Rutherford has held a steady job. But with the death of his elderly Aunt Lillie, the out-of-work, over-educated former dot-com executive has come into enough inheritance money to do whatever he wants - if only he can survive long enough to cash in on his legacy. That's because his inheritance might include lost Confederate gold - a fortune in ingot buried at a secret location but revealed in an old map stumbled on by Matt. Problem is, others know about the gold - and the old map. They will stop at nothing to claim the treasure for themselves, even if it means murder.


The Second Coming of the Invisible Empire: the Klu Klux Klan of the 1920's - Fifty years after the end of the Civil War, William Joseph Simmons, a failed Methodist minister, formed a fraternal order that he called The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Organized primarily a money-making scheme, it shared little but its name with the Ku Klux Klan of the Reconstruction Era. With its avowed creed of “One Hundred Percent Americanism,” support of Protestant Christian values, white supremacy, and the rejection of all things foreign, this new Klan became, for a brief period of time in the mid-1920s, one of America’s most powerful social and political organizations.


The Strange Journey of the Confederate Constitution and Other Stories from Georgia's Historical Past - A collection of seventeen articles and essays on topics in Georgia and Southern history. Individual chapters are arranged by era and cover subjects ranging from The Great Yazoo Fraud of the 1790s, to Jefferson Davis and the Confederate Treasure of the 1860s, to the Reign of Terror visited by the Ku Klux Klan in Macon of the 1920s. While academic, the book's varying topics are aimed at readers with a general interest in the intriguing and often convoluted history of the South. Some articles focus on events, others on people (e.g. Gutzon Borglum or Eli Whitney), and still others on more controversial topics, such as the place of The Birth of a Nation and Gone With the Wind in modern society. The author's writing style is one that promotes relaxed recreational reading, treating each topic as an unfolding story as the chapter progresses.

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