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Off the Chart
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New or Used: $16.86
A chance encounter with an old flame sets reluctant investigator Thorn on a collision course with some of Florida's most ruthless killers in a heart-stopping story of modern-day piracy from the acclaimed author of Blackwater Sound, hailed by Dennis Lehane as `the king of Florida noir'. Anne Joy first fled to the Sunshine State to escape a violent past. Now, years later, she slips back into bad company when she gets entangled with Daniel Salbone, a rising figure in the local mob whose men have been terrorising shipping lanes. When Thorn's old connection with Anne comes to light, he is desperate not to be dragged into dangerous waters. But the kidnapping of his best friend's daughter forces him to embark on a hunt that will take him from the deceptive lushness of the Florida Keys to a nightmare climax in one of the most remote and blood-chilling spots in the Caribbean.
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Promotional Information

In his latest novel, James Hall takes elements from traditional pirate stories to create a high-energy contemporary crime thriller that also questions the modern glamorization of criminals from the past Displaying once again his unique cocktail of crackling dialogue, unforgettable villains, relentless suspense and sharp humour, Off the Chart will appeal to fans of authors such as Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Robert Crais and James Lee Burke, all of whom are longtime admirers Moving from the familiar setting of the Florida Keys to the treacherous waters of the Caribbean and the wild coast of Central America, Off the Chart features his highly popular characters Thorn and Alexandra Rafferty With Blackwater Sound, James Hall broke through to a new level of sales and a new level of critical acclaim

About the Author

James Hall was born in Kentucky. He teaches in the Creative Writing Programme at Florida International University in Miami.'James Hall is the master of suspense, his writing runs as clear and fast as the Gulf Stream waters.' New York Times Book Review

Reviews

Hall (Blackwater Sound; Buzz Cut; etc.) once again sweeps the sand, surf and swamps of Key Largo, in a hyperdramatic mystery featuring sensitive tough-guy Thorn and his live-in girlfriend, Alexandra Rafferty. Hall sums up the plot nicely at the beginning of the book: "Lunacy and violence. Pirates, pirates, pirates." Thorn's long-ago fling with a beautiful woman named Anne Joy comes back to haunt him years later when Anne's brother, Vic Joy, a modern-day pirate along the Gulf Coast, decides he needs to add Thorn's five-acre property to his ill-gotten business and real estate empire. Anne and Vic are the damaged products of a dirt-poor Kentucky upbringing overseen by a smalltime dope-dealing father and a deranged mother with an all-consuming passion for pirates. Thorn refuses to sell to Vic, triggering a complicated coercion scheme that eventually includes the kidnapping of the nine-year-old daughter of Thorn's best friend. The local body count builds until Thorn is in an all-out battle against the deranged Vic, with a complement of U.S. helicopters and a small army of cutthroat international pirates. Hall's crisp writing, plus the ticking-clock suspense of the child-in-peril subplot and amusing secondary characters like Alexandra's dotty dad make this an exhilarating addition to the series. (June) Forecast: Hall is generally considered to be the stylist of the South Florida bunch and should be recommended to those fans of Hiassen, Leonard and Standiford (see the review of his latest novel, Havana Run, below) who haven't stumbled upon him yet. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

'Hall has been one of my favourite crime writers for a long time. He's great. This is a bodacious novel: cool and violent, but with an energy that's hard to resist. Top of the class.' Mark Timlin, Independent on Sunday 'James Hall really pulls it all together in Blackwater Sound. If violence can be poetic, Hall has the lyric voice for it. Truly haunting.' New York Times 'James Hall, the king of Florida noir, delivers across the board with Blackwater Sound. Chock-full of vivid characters, startlingly explosive moments of ultra-violence and seamlessly elegiac prose' DENNIS LEHANE 'Hall has always blazed a unique path through the killing fields of crime fiction. Blackwater Sound is another original and his best yet. With beautiful prose and a heavily muscled story, it moves with the grandeur and unpredictability of a hooked marlin' MICHAEL CONNELLY 'A gorgeous and compelling novel about the merciless predators both in and above the waters of south Florida' ROBERT CRAIS

Hall (Blackwater Sound) continues his Thorn series with this modern-day maritime pirate tale. It all starts with Thorn's dalliance a year ago with Anne Bonny Joy, sister to Vic, whose mother entrances them with her passion for the pirate life. Janey, daughter of Thorn's longtime friend Sugarman, is kidnapped by the pirates in a scheme to gain control of Thorn's beach property. Ex-navy secretary Jerry Webster's plan to hook the pirate involves Thorn rekindling his romance with Anne, which threatens his relationship with forensic photographer and live-in girlfriend Alexandra Rafferty. Gary Littman's reading maintains all the characters' identities and produces an enjoyable program. Highly recommended.-Sandy Glover, West Linn P.L., OR Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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