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Western novel, ’67 author
The novel is BUST OUT and the author is Bill Shockley, ‘67


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A bank robbery goes awry when Buddy, one of the outlaws, decides to kill the teller and is caught. His accomplice Merle manages to get away, and Buddy sends a prostitute to find Merle and hatch a plan to free him. When Merle shows up, he realizes he’s been framed, and in the chaos of escaping, he snatches twelve-year-old Reuben Solomon as a hostage. 


Reuben has finally been allowed the responsibility of making a delivery from his father’s store—then all hell breaks loose. Gunshots ring out, and the next thing he knows he’s being hauled out of town by a stranger. This is the beginning of his big adventure and a new life. 


As they ride together, Merle teaches Reuben the things the boy’s alcoholic father should have taught him—until Reuben begins to think maybe he might not want to go back to his old life. 


When Reuben returns home, it’s just as bad as before—even worse, since he’s learned about the world outside of Shasta. When he receives a gift from Merle, he knows he must head back out to find him. But Buddy has escaped the hangman, and with several murders to his credit, he knows Reuben is his key to finding Merle—and the money Merle took from the bank. 


Nothing will stop Buddy in his relentless search for the partner he believes double-crossed him. Can Reuben find Merle before Buddy has a chance to murder his old partner?


Bill is originally from Chicago, and moved to Southern California with his family around 1954. After graduating from Sunny Hills, Bill attended  Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, where he played varsity baseball for four years. Bill married Ann Ray, ’67 in 1971 and they have four children. Ann died in about 1998, and eventually Bill moved to Northern California.

Bill has published a dozen or more short stories in the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Western genre. He has always been a passionate lover of language and he creates puns and wordplay on a phenomenal Joycean level.

His writing is characterized by strong, complex plots, meticulous point of view, traces of impish humor and emphasis on growing tension and fast-paced action. His writing  is highly original and ingenious, and often reflects his extensive education and knowledge, including his college studies in Classics and his lifelong love of classical music. Bill has also created and published computer games and composed dozens of ragtime songs. Early in his career he worked in the Mid-Wilshire (Los Angeles) Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith stock market trading office. He is the brother of Diane Shockley Maldonado, ’69.

For many years now, Bill has written, produced, directed and acted in radio dramas. You can apply to listen to them as a member of Wycked Fell Radio Theatre page on Facebook, or if you live within the sound of KFOI - Radio Free America in Red Bluff, CA, or KKRN 88.5 radio in the Redding area of Northern California. See listings. 

This Amazon.com page also includes one customer review of BUST OUT