'James Hall is the master.' JAMES ELLROY James Hall's previous novels include Red Sky at Night, Buzz Cut, Gone Wild, Mean High Tide, Hard Aground, Bones of Coral, Tropical Freeze and Under Cover of Daylight. 'Hall is the master of suspense ... his writing runs as clear and fast as the Gulf Stream waters.' NY Times 'Hall delivers oddball fun at a rip of a pace, without letting you forget that he is a literate, stylish writer. Hall's books psst and bubble over as soon as you open them.' Los Angeles Times 'Hall is the finest and most literate of thriller writers.' San Francisco Chronicle
Hall is back in top form after stretching the limits of his series featuring Travis McGee-like investigator Thorn (e.g., Gone Wild, LJ 2/15/97). Here the protagonist is a woman, Alexandra Rafferty, a forensic photographer for the Miami police department. Besieged by childhood memories that include rape and murder, Alex must confront present-day dangers as she deals with a serial-killer case, a criminal-obsessed husband, a potential lover (or is he a murderer?), and her Alzheimer's-afflicted, former-Miami cop father. The gruesome series of murders and other assorted violence is leavened by multiple story lines that converge seamlessly and a host of fascinating characters, not least among them Alex. A high-priority purchase for thriller fans. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/98.]‘Francine Fialkoff, "Library Journal"
'An edgy and engrossing thriller.' The Times 'Body Language is James Hall showing his best stuff. Complex and edgy, engrossing and masterful. I've been reading and learning from Hall for a long time but this book's a cut above the rest. It's his very best.' michael connelly 'Body Language seduces you, then it grabs you and never lets you go. This is a first-rate thriller by a masterful writer.' james patterson 'Rafferty is a fabulous addition to the ranks of law enforcement.' sue grafton
Following last year's downcast Red Sky at Night, which left beachcomber-hero Thorn in a wheelchair, Hall bounces back with a new protagonist, Alexandra Rafferty, an appealing fourth-degree blackbelt, crime-scene photographer and all-around Miami PD femme Nikita. Shadowed by 18 years of guilt from the grisly aftermath of her rape at age 11, Alex is the loving caregiver to her father, an ex-cop befuddled by senility. Caught up in a series of serial killings of young women whose bodies are left in bizarre postures, Alex is unaware that her cretinoid husband, Stan, an armored car driver, is planning the perfect robbery. All hell breaks loose when a sexy pool-cleaner/ burglar (who keeps a pet cockroach in her pocket) chances on the scene and sees Stan's airhead mistress make off with two bags worth a cool million. When Alex's pixilated dad steals back the loot, most of the major elements of this whimsical action-packed plot are in place. The ensuing 600-mile chase takes Alex and dad to Seaside, the well-known planned community on the sugary beaches of the Florida panhandle. Forgiving the distracting, superfluous plot threads, Hall fans will be more than reimbursed by his poetic imagery in the landscapes and love scenes. Alex is a heroine with enough endearing attributes to sustain yet another long-running character series. $200,000 ad/promo; audio to Brilliance; author tour. Agent, Richard Pine; editor, Jenifer Weis. (Sept.) FYI: Seaside, Fla., was the location for the new Jim Carrey film, The Truman Show.