Friday, January 29, 2010

The Dallas Morning News

Yet another wonderful review in the Dallas Morning News:

James W. Hall should be adopted as a Florida state treasure.
But he won't be.

The Florida he has depicted over the course of nearly 20 terrific thrillers is, at its heart, as dark as a northern Siberian night in midwinter. He does a fine job, though, of making the Sunshine State a complex and intriguing location, in which avarice, violence, delusion, great heroism and sometimes even serious (if complicated) love play out.

Silencer, his latest entry featuring his ingenious hero Thorn, keeps his flag flying high. Although the premise – Thorn inherits a vast fortune – seems a bit tenuous, once we accept it, which we do after a chapter or so, the drama begins to build.

To use his money for the highest good, Thorn makes a deal with an important central Florida landowner to take vast acres out of commercial use and keep them natural for posterity. Unfortunately, one of the landowner's sons has another idea, which quickly leads to chicanery, murder and the near demise of Thorn (along with his longtime girlfriend, the talented sister of a former biker gang leader, and the landowner's other son, a Miami mounted police officer).

Fortunately, Thorn knows how to employ various artifacts, such as a family wedding ring and a powerful pistol, to keep himself and others alive.
To reveal more of the plot would spoil it.

Let's just say that this suspenseful novel also features a retiring central character who assumes a forceful role, two strong women and some excellent lore about hunting African beasts in central Florida. We also learn about old Floridian ruling-class conclaves and contemporary Floridian morals, or lack thereof, in a way that makes the Sunshine State look darker and darker as the story unfolds.


canard said...

I love your books. Would you please consider publishing in e-book formats? Thanks.

Bill Schanen said...

Sloppy writing and sloppy editing: Lake Okeechobee is not the second largest lake in America. At a piddling 730 square miles, it's not even in the top 50. The biggest lake is not, as your wrote, Lake Michigan, but Lake Superior.

James W. Hall said...

Lake Okeechobee (pronounced /ˌoʊkɨˈtʃoʊbiː/) locally referred to as The Lake or The Big O, is a freshwater lake in the U.S. state of Florida. It is the second-largest freshwater lake wholly within the continental United States (after Lake Michigan) and the largest in the southern United States.[1] Okeechobee covers 730 square miles (1,890 km²), approximately half the size of the state of Rhode Island, and is relatively shallow, with an average depth of only 9 feet (3 m).

Thanks for stopping by, Bill.

James W. Hall said...


Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail
Designated as a segment of the Florida National Scenic Trail, this trail circles the second largest freshwater lake in the contiguous United States. The trail itself is located atop the Herbert Hoover Dike, which surrounds the lake for flood protection, and provides views ranging from scenic lakeside to working agricultural landscapes. It also takes users near and through communities that are at the heart of agriculture in this part of the state, such as Clewiston and Belle Glade. The area affords opportunities for viewing wildlife, particularly in fall and winter, when birds such as herons, egrets, and a variety of wintering waterfowl are abundant. And of course, fishing opportunities are endless.

James W. Hall said...

Just so we're clear:

In the US, Lake Superior is the largest lake.
Lake Michigan is the largest lake that is actually in the US.
Lake Superior is larger but it's impossible to credit it as largest
since a good deal of it is in another country, namely Canada.

James W. Hall said...

And Bill, when you're criticizing the editing of someone's work, you probably should proofread your own email.