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The Braswell family had everything people would kill for: money, looks, power. But their eldest son, the family's shining light, died in a bizarre fishing accident. And when he disappeared—hauled into the depths by the giant marlin he had been fighting—he took with him a secret so corrupt that it could destroy the Braswells.
Ten years later, a huge airliner crashes in the steamy shallows off the Florida coast, killing all aboard. Helping pull bodies from the water, Thorn finds himself drawn into a bizarre conspiracy: someone has developed a high tech weapon capable of destroying electrical systems in a powerful flash. The terrorist potential is huge. How are the secretive Braswells and their family-owned company, MicroDyne, involved? And what does it have to do with the family's obsessive hunt for the great marlin that killed their golden boy?
With the Braswells, James W. Hall introduces one of the most evil and dysfunctional families in the history of fiction. And, along with Thorn, he brings back favorite characters from his earlier books, including Alexandra Rafferty and her father, Lawton Collins, a retired and increasingly dotty former police investigator whose methods of investigation result in his kidnapping. A story that bristles with all the heat and tension of a tropical Florida summer, Blackwater Sound is destined to rank among the greatest suspense thrillers of the new decade.
Review: A powerful Florida family, its high-tech fortune dwindling, is haunted by an elusive, enormous blue marlin that claimed the life of its eldest son, who was meant to restore the family's prominence. But the Braswells are tormented by even darker secrets, such as incest and treason, that drive this dark, atmospheric thriller to an explosive conclusion, which might have been pulled straight from recent headlines. James Hall pits Thorn, his series protagonist, against the Braswells and their deadly plans. Although an existentially morose antihero is a convention of the mystery genre, Hall manages to transcend it with a fascinating plot and a powerful narrative, resulting in a suspenseful and resonant novel that shows off his well-developed talents for character development, place, and pacing. The author of 11 previous mysteries (including Mean High Tide and Rough Draft), Hall gets better with every book, and this one continues the trend. --Jane Adams
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