The Mississippi Writers Page
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Charles Wilson

(1939- )

Charles Wilson, the author of a number of acclaimed thriller/mystery novels, was born in Kennett, Missouri, on August 2, 1939. He attended college at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, the University of Missouri, and the University of Memphis. Wilson's business experience includes farming in the Okolona and Aberdeen areas of northeast Mississippi, real estate development in central Mississippi, and organizing investment syndications to drill for oil and gas in the area surrounding Enid, Oklahoma. In addition to writing, he enjoys working with children's sports. He has coached numerous little league baseball and basketball teams, and he served as a volunteer junior high head football coach for seven years, compiling a 48-3-1 record during what he calls “the most fun period of my life.” He is married to his childhood sweetheart, the former Linda Faye George, and they have three children. Wilson lives in Brandon, Mississippi.

Wilson’s first book, Nightwatcher, was published in 1990. Set in central Mississippi, the plot revolves around a father's investigation of his daughter’s murder at a hospital for the criminally insance. Silent Witness (1992), also set in central Mississippi, tells the story of a woman who hires a former lover to prove her husband didn't commit a murder, but her plan backfires.

With The Cassandra Prophecy (1993), the setting moves to Biloxi, Mississippi, as a Secret Service agent investigates a brother’s murder. In When First We Deceive (1994), set in Pass Christian, Mississippi, a serial killer is on the loose as a young husband-and-wife police team investigate the murder of the husband's former girlfriend. The story is further complicated with the male cop’s guilt at having been out with the girlfriend since he had been married.

In 1995, Wilson published Direct Descendant, a techno-thriller set in Memphis, Tennessee, in which DNA stolen from the remains of a prehistoric human is used to bring back humans from the past. Fertile Ground (1996) is a medical thriller set in Jackson, Mississippi, in which doctors from Mississippi contract a virus while on a scientific expedition in Brazil that drives them insane when they return to the United States.

Recent titles by Wilson include Donor (1999), Game Plan (2000), and Deep Sleep (2001).

Wilson has received a number of accolades from authors and critics, including fellow Mississippian John Grisham, who called Wilson’s first book “Splendid! A lean, tight, compelling story that was over much too fast. I wanted more!” Ed Gorman, editor of Mystery Scene Magazine and book critic for Barnes & Noble, said, “Wilson might flat-out be the best plotter of our generation.”

Jim Fraiser


Fiction (Novels):

  • Nightwatcher. New York: Carrol & Graf, 1990.
  • Silent Witness. New York: Carroll & Graf, 1992.
  • The Cassandra Prophecy. New York: Carrol & Graf, 1993.
  • When First We Deceive. New York: Carrol & Graf, 1994.
  • Direct Descendant. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995.
  • Fertile Ground. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996.
  • Extinct. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997.
  • Embryo. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999.
  • Donor. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999.
  • Game Plan. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000.
  • Deep Sleep. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2001.



  • “Interview with novelist Charles Wilson,” conducted by Jim Fraiser. Jackson Business Journal (May/June 1994): 17-18.

Internet Resources

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How to cite this page (MLA style):

Fraiser, Jim. "Charles Wilson." The Mississippi Writers Page. December 2001.