At the close of the case Skyler threatens Beauchamp. The second half of the book has a predictable follow-up to that threat.
In real life Deverell acted as Crown counsel in the trial of John Wurtz and used its inspiration for the murder trial in Sing a Worried Song.
Jay Clark in a biography of Deverell on the author’s website sets the scene:
John Wurtz and Daniel Eyre were driving west from Toronto to check out Vancouver while sharing a novel titled The First Deadly Sin, and speculating about whether the murder of a stranger might, as in the novel, produce an erotic thrill. Wurtz took the fantasy seriously, and in Vancouver picked up a loner and stabbed him to death (57 times with a pair of scissors) in his basement suite.
I remember reading The First Deadly Sin. It was an excellent book if creepy at times.
The real life John Wurtz was as unhappy as the fictional Randy Skyler with the Prosecutor:
Wurtz underwent a lacerating cross-examination, became tied up in his lies, and after conviction, while being led off to serve a life sentence, he passed by counsel table and whispered to Bill: “One day, I’m going to get you.”
While Sing a Worried Song has a conventional approach for the vengeful Skyler the follow-up in the real life Wurtz case was far more unexpected and intriguing:
A few years later, the police warned Bill that Wurtz had escaped from Kingston Pen. He hasn’t surfaced since, though his parents subsequently received by mail a mysterious urn with ashes from an unknown source. Bill, whose writing studio is a cabin in the woods, says he will often jump on hearing the sound of a twig breaking or the wind whistling through the cedars.
In a Vancouver Sun article published at the end of Sing a Worried Song it said the ashes had been sent from a Florida crematorium to Wurtz’s family in Ontario.
Deverell also wrote a script for a CBC radio series about the Wurtz case.
I wish Deverell had used the continuing uncertainty of the Wurtz conclusion in Sing a Worried Song. I wonder if he thought it would not be credible. Wondering whether Wurtz was still coming for revenge would certainly had acted upon the psyche of a “worried man”.
The real life story is a striking example of the unpredictability of actual events.
****(Vancouver) Deverell, William - (2011) - A Trial of Passion; (2011) - Snow Job; (2012) - I'll See You in My Dreams; (2012) - Removing Indigenous Children from Their Families in Crime Fiction; (2012) - "D" is for William Deverell; (2014) - Kill All the Lawyers; (2014) - The Lawyers of Kill All the Lawyers; (2015) - Sing a Worried Song