Books and Short Stories

Writing as Bill Cameron
Property of the State, by Bill Cameron

Property of the State

Who hasn’t dreamed of escape at one time or another?

For 16-year-old loner Joey Getchie, the moment comes when a false accusation at school incites a violent assault by his foster father. Desperate and bleeding, Joey flees to the home of the Huntzels, a family he works for part-time.

In secret, he takes up residence in oversized Huntzel Manor: going to school by day, hiding out by night in an unused wing of the house. Days pass, but his dodgy foster family shows no interest in dragging him home. Joey knows he’s never been an easy placement. As long as his absence remains unreported, he figures the Bobbitts will be content to draw their foster stipend, free of the pain-in-the-ass kid with authority issues.

All he wants is get through the school year, graduate early, and escape foster care forever. But nothing is ever easy. His caseworker, Mrs. Petty, has a sharp eye on him. Classmate Duncan lies in a coma, victim of a hit-and-run the cops think Joey knows more about than he’s telling. Trisha, a foster kid herself, tries to draw the self-protective Joey out and get him to share his troubles. And the Huntzels have dark secrets of their own.

As days become weeks and the pressure mounts around him, Joey finds he’s not the only one with something to hide, or someone to hide from.

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County Line, by Bill Cameron

County Line

A Skin Kadash Mystery, Book Four

Winner of the 2012 Spotted Owl Award

When the steadfast Ruby Jane Whittaker drops out of sight, dogged ex-cop Skin Kadash sets out to discover what drove the woman he loves to leave her life behind so suddenly and without explanation. The discovery of a dead man in Ruby Jane’s apartment and an attack by a mysterious stalker send Skin from Portland to California — and into a charged encounter with her one-time love Peter McKrall.

As questions mount and answers grow increasingly out of reach, Skin and Peter cross the country on a desperate journey deep into Ruby Jane’s haunted past — and toward an explosive confrontation which will decide their future.

Published by Simon and Schuster


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Day One, by Bill Cameron

Day One

A Skin Kadash Mystery, Book Three

Spotted Owl Award Finalist

Born and raised in southern Oregon farm country, Ellie Spaneker flees her home and abusive husband, her trail dogged by a brutal ex-cop in the hire of her vengeful father-in-law.

In Portland, retired homicide detective Skin Kadash fills his idle days drinking coffee and searching for Eager Gillespie, a teen runaway of special interest as the only witness in a troublesome and long unsolved murder. Eager, meanwhile, is on his own, grifting and working the angles in the homeless underground, oblivious to the unfolding events which will force him to face the consequences of a crime, and a longing, which has haunted him for years.

These disparate trails converge at a bloody standoff, the harrowing end of a string of violence which stretches from the high desert to the streets of Portland.

Published by Simon and Schuster


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Chasing Smoke, by Bill Cameron

Chasing Smoke

A Skin Kadash Mystery, Book Two

Spotted Owl Award Finalist

Portland homicide detective Skin Kadash just wants to survive cancer treatment so he can get back to the work he loves. When his partner tries to drag him into an unofficial investigation of a series of deaths, he’s not interested — he’s dead-dog sick and doesn’t need the grief — until she reveals the victims all suffered from cancer themselves, and all had one thing in common with Skin. His oncologist.

The deaths are all apparent suicides; the police have closed the book on them. Then a mysterious young woman, daughter of the first victim, surfaces and insists the dead men were all murdered. Before her story can be probed more deeply, she disappears, leaving Kadash with no support from the cops and little to go on except a nagging belief the missing woman knew more than she revealed.

Kadash is left to chase elusive leads among the bitter and broken widows of the dead men. Struggling with his own illness and with a growing rift between himself and his partner, Kadash finds himself entangled in a web of resentment, jealousy, and deceit. Ultimately, he finds that not is he only seeking a missing woman and the truth about the dead men, but also the meaning of his own life in the face of his impending mortality.


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Lost Dog, by Bill Cameron

Lost Dog

Introducing Skin Kadash

2008 Spotted Owl Award Finalist, 2008 Rocky Award Nominee

Peter McKrall is at a crossroads—out of work, fighting a klepto habit, and trying to figure out his next move. Life takes an unexpected turn when a search for his niece’s stuffed dog leads him to something else entirely: a bullet-riddled corpse.

Talking to reporters lands Peter on the local news, which turns out to be a dangerous spotlight. And now Darla, the troubled daughter of the victim, is reaching out to him—but can she be trusted? When a second murder takes place and evidence is planted in his trash, the cops dredge up Peter’s painful history. The only ray of sunshine in this harrowing nightmare is Ruby Jane, owner of the Uncommon Cup cafe, whose warm smile and hot coffee melts the winter chill.

An unwitting player in a bizarre chain of events, Peter has no idea that the deranged killer is after him—until he takes a shot at Ruby Jane. Set against the sodden backdrop of Portland, Oregon, Lost Dog tells of the intersection of one man’s struggle against and another’s embrace of powerful and self-destructive impulses.


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Skin Kadash Short Stories

Heat Death

In 1971, days before shipping out to Vietnam, a young Skin Kadash joins his best friend for a “so long to the world” blow-out at a cabin in the mountains, unaware they’re pawns in a murder plot.

The Missus

A brotherhood of cops, a boy accused of murder, and the detective who broke ranks to dig out the truth, no matter the cost.

Featuring Skin Kadash and Joey Getchie of Property of the State.

Coffee, Black

Skin investigates vandalism at a Portland coffee shop and stumbles into more than he bargained for—saucy hipsters, coffee snots, petty crooks, and a conspiracy gone off the rails.

Sunlight Nocturne

On Halloween, as cops pursue a gang of violent home invaders, Skin and a neighbor build a bat house, unaware the chase is heading right for them.

The Last Ship

Skin Kadash travels to the windswept Oregon Coast to recover from a gunshot wound and finds himself embroiled in land grab turned deadly.

Daisy and the Desperado

With a discovery of a disembodied foot in an old lady’s back yard, Skin is dragged into a decades-long feud between irascible neighbors.

Bill Cameron Standalone Stories

Wheel of Fortune

A professor forced into a life of penury takes matters into his own hands in a desperate bid to protect his professional legacy, and get a little revenge on the man who took everything from him.

Best Served Cold

A lifelong quest for revenge has unexpected consequences for a pair of friends who sacrificed everything over a girl.


Dreams of love live and die in an eddy under a bridge.

Kept Woman

Sometimes what we see in other people is only a dark reflection of ourselves.

On the Road to Find Out

A boy is on a journey to discover where he belongs—one filled with violence, longing, and loss.

The Practical Christmas

When Mom takes up with a fixer-upper, two kids find out what life with an honest-to-goodness outlaw is really all about: the loot.

The Princess of Felony Flats

A mysterious dwarf makes a risky play for the statuesque consort of a drug kingpin in a hardboiled retelling of a classic fairy tale. Nominated for the 2011 CWA Short Story Dagger.

Privacy Fence

In a darkly comic clash of neighbors over the height of a fence, the solution for one seems to be kidnapping . . . and possibly even murder.

Slice of Pie

A cynical and overprotective son tries to save his mother from her own good nature, with violent results.

Soul of the Sea

During a hallucinatory trip to the beach a young man loses track of who he is.

A Tall House

Desperate to see his sick mother who is quarantined upstairs in her room, a boy rebels against the overbearing housekeeper who has been keeping them apart. In the process, he discovers the grim secret behind his mother’s illness.

The Thunderhead and the Beast

He opens the door to what he thinks is every boy’s dream. It may be a nightmare instead.

Yo, Karl

A boy’s dark reputation, not all of it fairly earned, shapes his fate.