About the Author


Bill Rapp began his professional life as an academic, teaching European History at Iowa State University. A graduate of Notre Dame (B.A.), The University of Toronto (M.A.) and Vanderbilt (Ph. D.), Bill has always been particularly intrigued by German history, but the last 35 years working for the U. S. Government has broadened his perspective to all of Europe and much of the Middle East.  His career has taken him around the world, including to Berlin as the Wall fell and Germany was reunified.  Bill Rapp’s books include the mystery novels Angel in Black, A Pale Rain,  Burning Altars, Berlin Breakdown, Tears of Innocence, and The Hapsburg Variation.

Bill Rapp is proudly a member of The Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and The International Association of Crime Writers.


Message from the Author

I may have spent the last thirty-five years as a diplomat/analyst working for the federal government, but I began my adult life as a professional historian. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in History and German, I received my M.A. in European History from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. I taught history at Iowa State University for one year but then decided to shift my efforts to something less settled and moved to Washington, D.C. That career has taken me to Berlin, Ottawa, Baghdad, and now London, with long stays in Washington in between.

Through it all I never lost my love of history and literature, especially crime fiction, which I often read as a student to take a break from all the history books I had to study for my course work, thesis, and dissertation. Fortunately, I was able to apply that affinity for our past throughout my career with the government, while it also inspired much of my writing. You can see that, for example, in the Berlin novels, especially Tears of Innocence, as I spent several years there as a student and later as a diplomat during the fall of the Wall and Germany’s reunification. Even the Naperville private detective series (Angel in Black, A Pale Rain, and Burning Altars) draws on the local history and development of the Chicago area, just as Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald–the two paragons of American detective fiction, in my eyes–did in their novels and stories set in southern California.