Books

The Jolly Roger Social Club

The Jolly Roger Social Club
A True Story of a Killer in Paradise
Nick Foster
Price: £
9.99
  • Paperback
Published: 
27 Jul 2017
ISBN: 
9780715652169
Pages: 
288
Genre: 
  • Biography & Memoir
Available from:

The book detailing the grisly murders by ‘Wild Bill’ Holbert that shook the shadowy ex-pat community in Panama

Languishing in a Panamanian prison cell, William Holbert - known as 'Wild Bill' - is waiting to be tried for the murder of five fellow American expats. His first victims were the mysterious Brown family, who lived a deliberately quiet life in Panama's remote province of Bocas del Toro. After killing the Browns, he turned their house into the Jolly Roger Social Club with the motto 'Over 90% of our members survive'. He appointed himself Minister of the First Church of the Inebriation, and used drink- and drug-fuelled parties to get close to others who, like him, had fled to Panama's Caribbean coast in desperation to leave their past behind, assumed new identities and disappeared into a blissful loophole...

The Jolly Roger Social Club is Nick Foster's astonishing and vivid account of a man who may be the world's first 'capitalist' serial killer. In the process of piecing together what happened, he sheds light on the bigger questions raised by Wild Bill's actions: what was it that made Bocas del Toro such a fertile hunting ground for the murderer, and why did it take the expats so long to raise the alarm? It quickly becomes clear that the answer lies in the paradox of Panama itself: a seeming paradise, but with a sinister underbelly.

Read an extract here

Reviews

'Foster’s research is diligent… show[ing] the dirt that often lies beneath the deceptive surface of paradise' Spectator

'An engrossing, well-developed true-crime tale, unsettling in its portrayal of the underbelly of its tropical setting’ Kirkus

'If you've ever yearned to flee civilization for a tropical Caribbean hideaway, pick up Nick Foster’s frightening The Jolly Roger Social Club before you do.' Bryan Burrough, author of Public Enemies and Barbarians at the Gate

'Sharply written, excellently observed, and assiduously researched… a Panamanian Cocaine Nights'  Oliver Balch

'A fascinating tale of terror and madness' Skip Hollandsworth, author of The Midnight Assassin

'Noir reporting at its best, a true crime tale for our age' Susan Casey, author of Voices in the Ocean and The Devil's Teeth

'Nick Foster's shrewdly told, rum-soaked, all-too-true tale of serial murder in the tropics is simply stunning' Robert Kolker, author of Lost Girls

Nick Foster

About Nick Foster

Nick Foster was born in Liverpool, UK in 1966, and educated at University College London. He worked for several years as a European Union diplomat, and as a stringer working out of Caracas, Venezuela, filing news stories and research to the UK’s broadsheets. He now writes features for the Financial Times and the International New York Times, among other outlets. He is also producing a documentary film on France's highest-profile cold case. Foster is married with two young sons and lives in Belgium

Read his tips on writing creative non-fiction here. 

 

 

The Jolly Roger Social Club

The Jolly Roger Social Club
A True Story of a Killer in Paradise
Nick Foster
Price: £
20.00
  • Hardback
Published: 
14 Jul 2016
ISBN: 
9780715651353
Pages: 
288
Genre: 
  • Biography & Memoir
Available from:

In the remote Bocas del Toro, Panama, William Dathan Holbert – known as ‘Wild Bill’–is currently awaiting trial for the murder of five fellow American ex-pats.

Wild Bill’s first victims were the Brown family, who lived on a remote island in the area’s Darklands. There, Holbert turned their home into drinking den called the ‘Jolly Roger Social Club’, using booze and drug fuelled parties to get to know the ex-pat community. The club’s tagline was ‘Over 90% of our members survive’. With so many in Panama living under assumed names or desperate to leave their old lives behind, people really do sometimes just disappear, and Holbert used that to his advantage…

Nick Foster has unique access to the story having interviewed Holbert in prison as well as thoroughly researching his life and motivations. The Jolly Roger Social Club is an eye-opening read, revealing Holbert to be an apathetic, selfish character willing to kill to live in a lifestyle he had become accustomed to. Foster also weaves through the story of Panama–a gateway country which is in itself a paradox, a seeming paradise with a sinister underbelly.

 

Read an extract here.

Reviews

'Foster’s research is diligent… show[ing] the dirt that often lies beneath the deceptive surface of paradise' Spectator

'An engrossing, well-developed true-crime tale, unsettling in its portrayal of the underbelly of its tropical setting’ Kirkus

'If you've ever yearned to flee civilization for a tropical Caribbean hideaway, pick up Nick Foster’s frightening The Jolly Roger Social Club before you do.' Bryan Burrough, author of Public Enemies and Barbarians at the Gate

'Sharply written, excellently observed, and assiduously researched… a Panamanian Cocaine Nights'  Oliver Balch

'A fascinating tale of terror and madness' Skip Hollandsworth, author of The Midnight Assassin

'Noir reporting at its best, a true crime tale for our age' Susan Casey, author of Voices in the Ocean and The Devil's Teeth

'Nick Foster's shrewdly told, rum-soaked, all-too-true tale of serial murder in the tropics is simply stunning' Robert Kolker, author of Lost Girls

Nick Foster

About Nick Foster

Nick Foster was born in Liverpool, UK in 1966, and educated at University College London. He worked for several years as a European Union diplomat, and as a stringer working out of Caracas, Venezuela, filing news stories and research to the UK’s broadsheets. He now writes features for the Financial Times and the International New York Times, among other outlets. He is also producing a documentary film on France's highest-profile cold case. Foster is married with two young sons and lives in Belgium

Read his tips on writing creative non-fiction here.