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Decades before NCIS became a television hit drama series, the real men and women of the Naval Investigative Service (NIS), both Navy and civilian personnel, solved case after case around the world without the help of personal computers, cell phones, DNA, or the Internet. They had to rely on dangerous street work, investigative skills, logic, experience, and information derived from informants to put the bad guys in the brig. And sometimes, plain old luck was the key factor.
In 1971, Lieutenant Commander Marcus Colt is the top internal affairs investigator for the NIS Washington D.C. headquarters. When the unusual cases come across the desks of the top Navy brass, this decorated officer is the one who gets handed the job. He is intelligent and driven to always succeed, but his somewhat short temper and touch of sarcasm can complicate things. For this latest case, his youthful looks and uncanny investigative skills are essential as he goes undercover as a junior enlisted man in Norfolk, Virginia.
His mission is challenging: quickly find and stop the leaks of sensitive NIS information that have resulted in the murders of at least four confidential informants on the Norfolk Navy Base. To accomplish this difficult task, he has to build close relationships with all the personnel in the NIS unit, invade their privacy, and dig up all their secrets all while keeping his true identity and mission from them.
As the case takes unexpected twists and turns, loss of an old love, meeting a high-ranking officer’s daughter, avoiding assassins, and overcoming his own personal guilt from a previous Vietnam mission add complexity to the assignment. But both new and old friends and coworkers give Marcus the help he needs as he works to solve this case before time runs out and someone else dies.
Billy R. Wade, Jr. enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve in 1969. After being called to active duty, he graduated top of his class from both basic training at Naval Training Center (NTC) Orlando, Florida and Yeoman ‘A’ School at NTC Bainbridge, Maryland.
After this training, he was assigned to the Naval Investigative Service Office in Norfolk, Virginia for nearly two years in the early 1970s. While there on active duty, he earned the Navy’s Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon with ribbon device ‘S’ after qualifying as a Sharpshooter with the standard sidearm at that time, the 1911 .45 ACP semi-automatic pistol.
He left active service as a Petty Officer Third Class. While it was not required, Bill spent three additional years as a weekend reservist at his local Navy Reserve Center assisting with the clerical demands of the center, a Seabee unit, and a training course development unit.
He holds degrees in Business Management and Computer Science, and studied marketing at the University of South Florida. Born in Roanoke, Virginia, he spent his teen years and much of his adult life in the Tampa Bay area of Florida before escaping to the mountains of West Virginia.
While new to fiction writing, Bill has written several technical “how-to” articles that were published in hobby magazines. And he is nearly finished with the next adventure for his Fair Winds protagonist, Marcus Colt. He attributes his new love of fiction writing to surviving brain surgery a few years ago. As Bill phrases it, some of the connections in his brain have found “new and definitely different pathways.”
In addition to writing, he owns and operates a hobby kit manufacturing business on his property in rural West Virginia. Bill helps the local volunteer animal shelter by fostering rescue animals with special needs. When not cutting firewood or shoveling snow, he spends his little free time staying proficient with his Colt 1911 .45 pistol to better assist with security at his church.