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.