Silencer is an intensely satisfying thriller that is strongly recommended." > Silencer by James W. Hall, a Mysterious Review.
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A Thorn Mystery by James W. Hall

Silencer by James W. Hall

Review: Semi-retired Key Largo private investigator Thorn is unwillingly drawn into a case of corporate intrigue when he's kidnapped by a pair of rogue brothers looking to make a killing (as it were) in Silencer, the 11th mystery in this series by James W. Hall.

Thorn has recently inherited the bulk of Bates International, a private company, from a grandmother he didn't know he had, but wants little to do with it. His lady friend Rusty Stabler, however, has taken a position with the company, and seizes on an opportunity to do something good for the state of Florida: transfer 200,000 acres of unspoiled land to the west of Lake Okeechobee to the state for preservation. It's a complicated arrangement as the land doesn't belong to Bates, but rather to the owners of Coquina Ranch; it's being exchanged for Bates land near the Peace River, for which the state is paying over $500 million, which will immediately be signed over by Thorn to the ranch owners. But things take an unexpected turn when the ranch owner is shot and killed by a ranchhand and Thorn is taken hostage. Someone clearly does not want the transaction to be completed, but who — and why — is unknown to all parties involved.

The pacing of Silencer is perfect for a suspense thriller, the tension being assuredly notched up with each succeeding chapter. A considerable number of well-drawn characters are introduced, some obviously the "good guys", some deeply disturbed "bad", but most in the gray area in-between that will keep readers guessing on which side they'll ultimately fall. Though Thorn has a pivotal role in the book's premise, he plays a relatively minor role in the story, being kept captive — for reasons he doesn't understand and by men that to him have no obvious link to the real estate transaction — most of the time on a wild game ranch in the middle of nowhere.

Mirroring to some extent the character of Thorn, the underlying theme of the book is one of tree-hugging anti-capitalism, which, in and of itself, wouldn't be an issue except that the author gets a little preachy on the subject at the end, even including (as fact within the context of the plot) the urban myth surrounding National City Lines into the story. Still, given the overall strength of the intricately crafted plot, Silencer is an intensely satisfying thriller that is strongly recommended.

Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Silencer for this review.

Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …

Mystery Book Review: Going Dark by James W. HallGoing Dark
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), December 2013
ISBN-13: 9781250005007; ISBN-10: 1250005000

Location(s) referenced in Silencer: Florida

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Silencer by James W. Hall

Silencer by A Thorn Mystery

Publisher: Minotaur Books
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-35959-1
Publication Date:
List Price: $24.99

Buy the Book (purchase options)

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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews

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