Bill Petrocelli

Through the Bookstore Window

Through the Bookstore Window is a novel that explores the grim effects of war, gun violence, and sexual abuse. But it is also a story about love that transcends age, gender, background, and – perhaps – the readers’ expectations.

“Bill Petrocelli dares to reveal in his searing new novel Through the Bookstore Window both sides of the ambivalent power of recollection. His lionness-hearted heroine, Gina Perini, survives the minefields of tribal memory in vengeance-torn Bosnia, only to have the terror follow her to a bookstore she opens half a world away, in San Francisco.”

Phil Cousineau, author of The Book of Roads and Wordcatcher

“It’s a rare mystery that can deliver so much in the way of pure emotional resonance. Bill Petrocelli’s Through the Bookstore Window is such a book. This is a thriller with a heart.” 

Janis Cooke Newman, author of A Master Plan for Rescue

“Bill Petrocelli knows books and bookstores. He also knows how to write a compelling, provocative, meaningful novel that will sweep you from San Francisco to Bosnia and back again, delivering chills, suspense and some profound thoughts on the power of love.”

Kelli Stanley, award-winning author of the Miranda Corbie series and City of Sharks

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Great Quotes from Writers & Booksellers

If you are a novelist, there is nothing you treasure more than great quotes from other writers and booksellers. We all want fame and fortune, but we can’t exist without the respect of our peers. Here are some quotes that I love

” a gripping tale about an enigmatic and fascinating woman”

Linda Watanabe McFerrin, who heads up Left Coast Writers, calls Through the Bookstore Window “a gripping tale about an enigmatic and fascinating woman who is driven to outrun and outwit her tormentors and fix what is broken.”

“Wounded by War, Saved by a Bookstore”

Book Review

by Muriel Dobbin, a former White House and national political reporter for McClatchy Newspapers and the Baltimore Sun.

“Bill Petrocelli has written an often bleak but poignant account of a woman’s tragedy focusing on her desperate attempts to escape from the unspeakable. It is remarkable that she displays determination to elude terrorist killers after fleeing a vicious, war-torn situation in Dubrovnik. What is even more remarkable is that she clings to the memory of a baby girl who would now be in her teens — if she is still alive at all — given the circumstances of her birth. Gina has re-created herself as the eye behind the little bookstore window in San Francisco, but the past is and shall be always with her. “

Washington Times — March 18

“A bold exploration of lives joined by history.”

A great review of Through the Bookstore Window by FOREWORD REVIEWS:

“Through the Bookstore Window is a bold exploration of lives joined by history. The story features Gina Perini, an exile in San Francisco, whose life as a bookstore manager covers a troubling past in Bosnia, and Alexi Wilder, an abused teenager trapped in Indiana. When Gina responds to Alexi’s need, a serpentine thriller unfolds as both women run from their demons. . . .

Through the Bookstore Window is an unusual, rewarding take on the nature of memory: how it haunts and heals, how single moments set the future in motion, and how it binds survivors together in ways they seldom expect.”

An Introduction to Gina

Meet Gina Perini, the protagonist of Through the Bookstore Window. Gina escaped the war in Bosnia and is living in San Francisco under an assumed name to escape those who are still in pursuit. This first page of the book — in Gina’s own words — set the tone for the story. (A hint to to future readers: this excerpt could also serve as the last page of the story)

Morrie Meets the Gun

The first “rule” of mystery writing is that if a gun appears early in the story it should be fired by the end. That may be good advice for writing mystery plots, but it’s very bad advice for the way we’ve been living our lives.

If you want to meet someone with a legitimate fear of guns, meet Morrie on pg. 205 of Through the Bookstore Window.