BLACKWATER SOUND by James W. Hall

BLACKWATER SOUND

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KIRKUS REVIEW

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.

Every since her adored teenaged brother Andy was drowned by a giant marlin and her mother killed herself in grief, Darlene Braswell has been a woman with a mission. Armed with Andy’s notes and diagrams, the cold-eyed beauty has taken control of her father’s company, MicroDyne—using the technological breakthroughs Andy envisioned to bail the firm out of troubled waters—and of her lumpish kid brother Johnny, whose principal interests are watching old gangster movies and replicating their dialogue and weaponry in real-life situations. Now MicroDyne is on the verge of perfecting a device worthy of James Bond: a High Energy Radio Frequency (HERF) gun that knocks out all electrical circuits in its target area, whether that’s a tavern or an airliner. Unfortunately for Darlene, Thorn just happens to be breaking up with his latest lissome lover in a boat directly under the Rio-bound flight Darlene decides to bring down, and Arnold Peretti, the best friend of Darlene’s father, has decided to turn evidence of HERF’s power over to the press. Johnny can neutralize Arnold, of course, but how can any mere mortal, armed with whatever high-tech wizardry, hope to succeed against the alliance of crime-scene photographer Alexandra Rafferty (Body Language, 1998) and the imperishably virile Thorn (Rough Draft, 2000)? It’s true that Thorn will have his work cut out for him getting close to Darlene and the crew of her nefarious yacht ByteMe, but it’s not true that he has nothing Darlene and her father want: He can promise access to the monstrous marlin that killed golden-boy Andy.

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.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-312-20384-5
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2001




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