Tal Neilson is convinced the sudden death of his father was no accident, but no one believes him.

His desperate need for revenge is driven by a voice in his head. Is it his father, or the product of his drug addiction?

At stake, his legacy: the billion dollar pharmaceutical empire his father built. Is he prepared to challenge the widow and his father’s business partner for control?

When he turns to his lover, Ophelia for support he has no idea that she too is struggling with obsession. A secret family vow going back generations, requiring her to protect and defend him, but not to love him.

And thus a bitter fight ensues between loyalty and betrayal, addiction and independence, ambition and love.

A tense, fast-paced psychological thriller, which will have you hooked from page one.

Ophelia is the second book in a series of mysteries based on Shakespeare’s greatest plays.  Odell’s Fall, was a 2019-20 Amazon best seller.


Canadian Author Norman Bacal receives national recognition through the NYC Big Book Award®!

— The NYC Big Book Award recognized Ophelia: Drowning in Guilt in the mystery category as a Distinguished Favorite.

The competition is judged by experts from different aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters. Selected award Winners and Distinguished Favorites are based on overall excellence.

Ophelia tells the story of Tal Neilson, drug addicted heir to his father’s drug empire, and the forces out to destroy him in order to control his inheritance. A modern day Hamlet set in an Manhattan and Amsterdam, Ophelia is the only woman who believes Tal’s rantings that his father has been murdered, but Tal does not know the sixty year old secret linking them or the lengths she will go to keep it from him.

Norman Bacal is a film finance lawyer and legal industry leader, turned writer, who spent a career advising film studios such as Warner Bros, MGM and Lionsgate.  His twists and turns keep readers up all night in this psychological thriller, his second novel. His first book Breakdown was an instant Canadian bestseller. Ophelia has quickly become a book club favorite across North America.

2021 was a record year for books awarded due to the high level of quality and diverse books submitted.  Again in 2021, NYC Big Book Award received book submissions worldwide, including great submissions from journalists, well-established authors, small and large press as well as first time indie authors who participated in high numbers.  Entries were from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America.  Cities such as Bangalore, Edmonton, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Seattle, Singapore, Vancouver, were representative among the entries.  Winners were recognized globally from Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Lebanon, Queensland and the United States of America.  

Awarded books included submissions from  Hachett Books, MacMillan, Penguin Random House.

“We are elated to highlight these authors’ books, recognize their excellence, and share their achievements.” said awards sponsor Gabrielle Olczak.  “We look forward to showcasing these titles to a larger audience.”

For more information, please visit: www.nycbigbookaward.com.  

To view the list of  Distinguished Favorites click here: https://www.nycbigbookaward.com/2021distinguishedfavorites.  

Financial distribution provided by Best Stocks 

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“Ophelia is a fast-paced international thriller, a winning tale from a strong new talent on the scene”

–Robert Rotenberg
International bestselling author of Downfall (February 2021)

“The manner in which Bacal incorporates the tenets of Shakespeare’s Hamlet character Ophelia satisfies both literary aficionados as well as mystery admirers, the result being … intensification of ideas… that adds to the luster of this excellent mystery. Very highly recommended.”

–Grady Harp, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer

“Norman Bacal and Will Shakespeare know how to tell a good story.”

–Baruch Frydman-Kohl, Rabbi Emeritus, Toronto

“A major psychological drama for Shakespeare fans everywhere… The author’s dark plot and burdened characters are executed in rich, descriptive detail…

The pace is perfect, the dialogue dynamic, and Bacal has a commanding presence on the page… This accomplished author has made his mark in non-fiction and fiction alike. Turning his hand to reimagining Shakespeare is an amazing choice. “Ophelia”, by Norman Bacal, has the feel of an instant classic–not to be missed.”

–Goodreads review

“Hamlet is one of my all time favorite Shakespeare plays. This author took that story and turned it into a unique and nail biting novel! Though it kept true to the spirit of the play, this novel kept me guessing as to what was going to happen next.”

–Goodreads review

“This mystery moves at a quick pace… The motivations, competitions, loves and jealousies read like a Shakespearian drama… For contemporary interest, add in some American/Canadian boardroom competition, an Israeli agent, an illegal Chinese enterprise, and an Australian drug rehab centre. It’s a novel full of intrigue and love, death and life.”

–Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl, Toronto