Books by James W. Hall

James W. Hall is the author of four books of poetry, The Lady from the Dark Green Hills, Ham Operator, False Statements and The Mating Reflex a collection of short stories, Paper Products, a collection of essays, Hot Damn, and thirteen novels, Under Cover


GOING DARK by James W. Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 3, 2013

"The plot of Going Dark doesn't have the zip of some of Hall's other Thorn books, but with its nicely observed characters and lively dialogue—and terrific sex scenes—it keeps readers turning the pages."
In Hall's 13th Thorn novel, the go-it-alone Key Largo PI undergoes a crash course in parenthood when he discovers the grown son he barely knows belongs to an environmental activist group with terrorism on its agenda. Read full book review >
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 10, 2012

"Passionately and thoroughly entertaining."
What makes a bestselling novel? Longtime teacher and prolific thriller writer Hall (Dead Last, 2011, etc.) explores how certain books strike literary paydirt. Read full book review >
DEAD LAST by James W. Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 6, 2011

"Hall works some pleasing changes on a gimmick that was threadbare when Josephine Tey used it 75 years ago. Not the best Thorn, despite some deeply felt moments."
Nothing, it seems, can boost a sagging TV crime series but a series of copycat crimes. Read full book review >
SILENCER by James W. Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 19, 2010

"Less mystery, menace, sadism and comic-book kink than most of Thorn's adventures (Hell's Bay, 2008, etc.), but enough to keep the fans happy till next year."
A charitable deal to protect thousands of pristine Florida acres from development lands Hall's newly wealthy hero Thorn literally in a deep hole. Read full book review >
HELL’S BAY by James W. Hall
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 5, 2008

"Nice performances by Sugarman and the scary villainess in an otherwise unremarkable story."
The author's independent fishing guide Thorn acquires a first and middle name and a family with a billion dollars worth of baggage plus the keys to the balance of the Florida ecology. Read full book review >
MAGIC CITY by James W. Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 13, 2007

"Disappointing."
A 40-year-old photograph triggers a spate of killings in southern Florida. Read full book review >
FORESTS OF THE NIGHT by James W. Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 19, 2005

"Inconsistent writing: tight action scenes offset by thin characters and purplish prose ("Her complexion was as flawless as warm crème brulee")."
An uneven thriller about Cherokee that never fully mines its rich potential. Read full book review >
OFF THE CHART by James W. Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 1, 2003

"It's all a little "cartoonish," as one of Vic's many victims says. But the combination of world-class villainy, exotic locations, quick-march pacing, and studly heroism also suggests Thorn's channeling James Bond."
After years of tussling with metaphorical pirates of every stripe (Blackwater Sound, 2002, etc.) fly-tying South Florida swashbuckler Thorn finally gets to go up against the real thing. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: June 24, 2002

"Laid-back and quite competent, if not consistently soul-stirring, certainly well-enough executed to be enjoyed in the shade with the sound of the surf not far away."
From the South Florida School of American Literature, home to both Ernest Hemingway and Dave Barry, comes hard-working Hall: erstwhile poet, current thriller-writer, and sometime English teacher here undertaking a new form. Read full book review >
BLACKWATER SOUND by James W. Hall
THRILLERS
Released: Jan. 1, 2001

"Average for this action-packed series, built for speed rather than reflection, and boasting still another in the most grotesque gallery of villains since the glory days of Dick Tracy."
More spirited apocalyptic escapism pitting Thorn, the hero lesser mortals disapprovingly describe as "some kind of amateur vigilante," against a hideously dysfunctional South Florida family. Read full book review >
ROUGH DRAFT by James W. Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 1, 2000

A freewheeling FBI unit uses a sorrowing crime writer to get at a brutal hired killer—in an intricate thriller that never quite hits the Michael Connelly mark. Read full book review >

BODY LANGUAGE by James W. Hall
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 30, 1998

Key West chronicler Hall gives rugged adventurer Dick Thorn (Red Sky at Night, 1997, etc.) a well-earned rest as the author heads north to Miami to follow the fortunes of a police photographer, a lethal serial rapist, and two very large bags full of money. Read full book review >

RED SKY AT NIGHT by James W. Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: July 1, 1997

Thorn, Key Largo's most heroic fishing guide, confirms his credentials as self-ordained savior of the Florida ecosphere when he avenges the killings of 11 dolphins. The dolphins were the property of Thorn's friend Roy Everly, who used them as therapeutic swimming companions for the ailing until somebody sneaked into his healing center and slaughtered them in a grisly, elaborate manner. Read full book review >

BUZZ CUT by James W. Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: July 1, 1996

A fiendishly clever saboteur goes up against the uninspired defenders of the Fiesta Cruise Lines in the seventh of Hall's increasingly overblown action fantasies. Butler Jack has a passion for etymology, an integral stun gun installed on his fingers, a consuming hatred of Fiesta mogul Morton Sampson, and a plan to bring Sampson to his knees via a demand for a $58 million ransom he wants to donate to charity. Read full book review >

GONE WILD by James W. Hall
Released: March 21, 1995

Florida adventurer/avenger Dick Thorn, who seems to have lost his first name for good since Mean High Tide (1994), goes up against poachers bent on wiping out whatever endangered specimens they can't capture. Actually, Thorn doesn't cover himself with honor in avenging the death of his old friend Allison Farleigh's daughter Winslow, shot down yards away from her mother in a Borneo jungle. Read full book review >

MEAN HIGH TIDE by James W. Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 4, 1994

Hall's latest blast of Florida heat resurrects stylish dropout Dick Thorn (Tropical Freeze, 1989), hell-bent on avenging the suspicious diving-accident death of his ladylove Darcy Richards, who'd been asking one question too many about red tilapia. Red what? Read full book review >

HARD AGROUND by James W. Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 15, 1993

Another tangy Florida thriller from Hall (Bones of Coral, 1991, etc.), this one about long-buried treasure—and murder. Once again, Hall works expertly within the rules of the genre, pitting a misfit hero against fever-dream villains. Read full book review >