William Rawlings’ Books Make Perfect Summer Reading for the Beach, Pool or Porch
Stories of deceit, lust, treachery, ciphers, crosswords, Confederate gold and Vidalia onions
Georgia physician and author William Rawlings is the great nephew of wealthy and powerful Charles G. Rawlings, who may or may not have been guilty, but was nevertheless convicted, of murdering his cousin in a sensational 1925 trial.
Understandably, this “bad man who did bad things” was not a favorite topic of conversation for members of the Rawlings family who have been leading citizens of Sandersville, Georgia for many generations.
But the mystery in his heritage may have inspired William Rawlings, M.D. and businessman, to also become William Rawlings, author of four entertaining best-selling mystery novels. Or it may have been the suicide he saw years ago as he waited to tour the Eiffel Tour in Paris, blood dripping on the white leather jacket of a nearby fellow tourist. Or it may that he lives in a place, so rich in history and populated by such memorable characters, many of them relatives, that is an inspiration and resource for him. Whatever gets into the fertile mind of the genteel Southern doctor may come out in one of his stories of well-drawn and well-educated protagonists with ties to Atlanta and coastal Georgia as well as Paris, France and other exotic locales.
William Rawlings Jr. is a lifelong resident of Sandersville, Georgia where he practices medicine, writes novels and articles, is a businessman and lives on the family farm with his wife and two children. “I really wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” he explains. “Both my father’s and mother’s families arrived here in the late eighteenth century and we stay because this seems to be the place we belong.”
Rawlings received his education at Emory and Tulane Universities and at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is an “inveterate collector of things odd” and travel enthusiast, who delights in taking overseas trips each year.
Rawlings’s Southern thrillers make perfect summer reading for the beach, by the pool or on a shady porch. His first, The Lazard Legacy, set in a small town not unlike Sandersville, became a best-seller. It spins a masterful tale of murder, deceit, lust and treachery in a remote corner of the Deep South.
Optioned for a movie, The Rutherford Cipher is a story of greed, corruption, magnolias, moonlight and old family secrets. The rousing novel is bound to please conspiracy lovers as well as rekindle interest in the Old South. “Matt Rutherford unearths the answer to that old mystery of what really happened to the Confederate gold,” says Rawlings.
His third thriller The Tate Revenge travels from Paris to Atlanta and involves Vidalia onions, antiques, the travel industry, art stolen by the Nazis, the Eiffel Tower, Serbian war criminals, Iranian terrorists, the Port of Savannah and Underground Atlanta. The Tate Revenge received the Golden Eye Literary Prize, given in honor of literary legend and Georgia-born novelist Carson McCullers. The award honors novels with unusually compelling dramatic quality, social relevance and extraordinary literary merit.
In Crossword, published in 2006, cruciverbalist (crossword puzzle fan) Rawlings brings back Matt Rutherford and computer expert Lisa Li, characters from The Rutherford Cipher. The intrepid pair visits St. Simons and Sea Islands and interprets crossword puzzle clues to solve the mystery of a stolen fortune.
Rawlings’ soon-to-be-published work, tentatively titled The Mile-High Club, will be the third Matt Rutherford novel.
And William Rawlings’ well-documented tale of Great Uncle Charlie Rawlings’ murder trial will appear in the autumn issue of Georgia Backroads. Published in Rome, Georgia, the quarterly magazine is a premier source on Georgia history, nature, nostalgia and travel ideas. The autumn issue of Georgia Backroads will be available in September at Barnes & Noble, Waldenbooks, CVS, grocery stores, news stands, www.georgiabackroads.com or 800-547-1625.
Rawlings enjoys speaking to civic and book clubs, historical societies and other groups. For more information, see his articles, photos and book-ordering sources at: www.williamrawlings.com. Reach him by phone at 478-552-1125.