Landay, William 1964(?)-

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Landay, William 1964(?)-


Born c. 1964, in Boston, MA; married, 2000; children: one. Education: Graduate of Yale University; Boston College Law School, J.D., 1990.


Home—Boston, MA.


Writer and lawyer. Formerly an assistant district attorney in Middlesex, MA, c. 1991-c. 2000.


John Creasey Dagger award for best debut crime novel, 2003, for Mission Flats.


Mission Flats (novel), Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2003.

The Strangler (novel), Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2007.


The Strangler has been adapted as an audio book.


William Landay is a former district attorney who has turned to writing crime novels. In his debut novel, Mission Flats, Landay presents a police procedural featuring Ben Truman, who narrates the tale of two murders of cops in Boston in the 1970s and 1980s. Although Ben is a sheriff in rural Maine, he becomes involved in the cases when the body of a district attorney who was interested in reopening the old cases is found in a nearby cabin. Ben eventually decides to head off to the big city to try to solve the district attorney's murder and perhaps the murder of the two policemen. Marilyn Stasio, writing in the New York Times Book Review, noted that the author "writes with eloquent intensity … about the no-win ethical choices that can corrupt or otherwise crush a good cop." Booklist contributor Connie Fletcher wrote that Landay "delivers an action-packed plot with a skillfully detonated final surprise."

Landay's next novel, The Strangler, features real and fictional characters in 1963 Boston. Although the Boston Strangler, the real-life Albert DeSalvo, has confessed to the serial killing of local women, the police still aren't totally convinced that he's their man. The novel follows the threes sons of Joe Daley, a murdered detective. Two of the sons, Joe Daley, Jr., and Michael Daley, work in law enforcement as a cop and district attorney, respectively. The third and youngest brother, Rickey, is a cat burglar whose girlfriend is murdered. Meanwhile, Joe, Jr., has gambling debts and ties with organized crime while Michael is obsessed in solving his father's murder and is suspicious that his dad's former partner may have been involved. "Framed by the larger story of the Strangler, the inner tale masterfully portrays the insidiousness of greed," wrote Roland Person in the Library Journal. A Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote that "Landay … shows a truly sizzling Boston."



Booklist, August, 2003, Connie Fletcher, review of Mission Flats, p. 1961.

Boston Globe, (March 20, 2007), David Mehegan "His Cases Have Become Mysterious: Lawyer-Turned-Novelist Digs Up Dirt in Old Boston."

Decatur Daily (Decatur, IL), March 11, 2007, Joan Burton, review of The Strangler.

Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2003, review of Mission Flats, p. 940; November 15, 2006, review of The Strangler, p. 1156.

Library Journal, October 1, 2006, Barbara Hoffert, "Prepub Alert," p. 48; January 1, 2007, Roland Person, review of The Strangler, p. 96.

New York Times Book Review, October 5, 2003, Marilyn Stasio, review of Mission Flats.

Publishers Weekly, July 28, 2003, review of Mission Flats, p. 79; November 20, 2006, review of The Strangler, p. 35.

Tribune Books, August 31, 2003, review of Mission Flats, p. 7.

Washington Post, February 5, 2007, Patrick Anderson, review of The Strangler, p. C03.


Al Nye the Lawyer Guy Blog, (March 13, 2007), Al Nye, review of The Strangler.

Crime Scene Scotland Reviews Blog, (January 31, 2007), Russel D. McLean, review of The Strangler.

January Magazine, (May 17, 2007), Sarah Weinman, review of The Strangler. Blog, (April 15, 2006), Steve Rudd, review of Mission Flats and interview with author.

William Landay Home Page, May 17, 2007).