William Diehl (Woodstock, GA, USA, December 4, 1924 – Atlanta, GA, USA, November 24, 2006) was an American novelist and photojournalist.
Diehl was fifty years old and already a successful photographer and journalist when he decided to begin a writing career. His first novel, Sharky’s Machine – started while he was serving on jury duty – became a movie by the same name, which was directed by and starred Burt Reynolds. Diehl saw the movie shot on location in and around his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.
Following the success of Sharky’s Machine, Diehl relocated to St. Simons Island, GA in the early 80’s where he lived for the next 15 years before going back to the Atlanta area. While living on St. Simons, he completed eight more novels, including Primal Fear, which also became a movie by the same name starring Richard Gere and Edward Norton. Diehl died at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on November 24, 2006, of an aortic aneurism. At the time of his death, he was working on his tenth novel, which was ultimately completed by writer and producer Kenneth Atchity and published in early 2012, based on over 400 pages of manuscript Diehl had left behind, together with a working outline, notes, and chapter drafts.
- Sharky’s Machine (1978)
- Chameleon (1981)
- Hooligans (1984)
- Thai Horse (1987)
- The Hunt (1990)
- Eureka (2002)
- Seven Ways to Die (2012)
– Completed by Kenneth John Atchity.
Martin Vail / Aaron Stampler
- Primal Fear (1993)
- Show of Evil (1995)
- Reign in Hell (1997)
- William Diehl’s author page at Penguin Random House
- William Diehl’s obituary in The Washington Post
- Themis-Athena’s review of the movie adaptation of Primal Fear
- Themis-Athena’s select annotated filmography of courtroom dramas