Summary and book reviews of Blackwater Sound by James Hall

Blackwater Sound

by James W. Hall

Blackwater Sound
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2002, 339 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2002, 368 pages

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Book Summary

A story that bristles with all the heat and tension of a tropical Florida summer--destined to rank among the greatest suspense thrillers of the new decade.

The Braswell Family had everything people would kill for: money, looks, power. Until their eldest son, the family's shining light, died in a bizarre fishing accident. 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. Helping pull survivors from the water, Thorn finds himself drawn in a twisted 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 dysfuntional 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.

PROLOGUE

The marlin was the color of the ocean at twenty fathoms, an iridescent blue, with eerie light smoldering within its silky flesh as if its electrons had become unstable by the cold friction of the sea. A ghostly phosphorescence, a gleaming flash, its large eyes unblinking as it slipped into a seam in the current, then rose toward the luminous surface where a school of tuna was pecking at the tiny larvae and crustaceans snagged on a weed line.

The marlin attacked from the rear of the school. An ambush. It accelerated from thirty knots to double that in only a few yards. A fusion of grace, efficiency, and blinding power. For a creature with the bulk of a bull, the marlin was as sleek as any missile and blazed through the water at a speed not even the most powerful torpedo could attain. When it crashed into the school, it stunned each fish with a blow from its three-foot bill, then swallowed it headfirst.

Morgan Braswell saw its dorsal fin and the curved arc of its tail....

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Reviews

Media Reviews

People Magazine

a tasty new thriller...[with a] blend of high-tech suspense and South Florida sultriness ....Catch of the day.

Booklist - Bill Ott

Hall is one of the very best thriller writers alive. He has taken the popular sub-genre of Florida noir further into the heart of darkness than have any of his contemporaries.

Publishers Weekly

Hall’s dangerous bone-fishing iconoclast Thorn (Under Cover of Daylight, etc.) and gorgeous police photographer Alexandra Rafferty (Body Language) join forces in a thriller that should swell the author’s ranks of admirers. From dramatic beginning to chilling ending, Hall’s never been better.

Library Journal

Backed by a national author tour and ad campaign, with pre-pub raves from Dennis Lahane, James Lee Burke, Robert Crais, Scott Turow and Michael Connelly, this crime novel seems destined for bestseller-dom.

Author Blurb James Lee Burke
...no one has written more lyrically of the Gulfstream since Ernest Hemmingway...a wonderful reading experience...

Author Blurb Robert Crais, bestselling author of L.A. Requiem and Demolition Angel
No writer working today...more clearly evokes the shadows and loss that hide within the human heart.

Author Blurb Scott Turow, bestselling author of Presumed Innocent and The Burden of Proof
If you don't know the fine suspense novels of James W. Hall, this will get you off to a rousing start.

Author Blurb Michael Connelly, New York Times bestselling author of A Darkness More Than Night and Angels Flight
With beautiful prose and a heavily muscled story, it moves with the grandeur and unpredictability of a [killer] marlin.

Author Blurb Dennis Lehane
... sleek and relentlessly propulsive...

Reader Reviews

Jane Marter

It's a terrific novel. I don't even like marlin fishing, but Mr. Hall made me interested in that subject. Great characters, funny and razor sharp dialog, wonderful descriptions of places. A moving portrait of a family that has lost its center and ...   Read More

L'Jon

I was really disappointed with this book, it started off with a bang and fizzled shortly thereafer. I just wanted it too end, yet it dragged on. The plot could have been better developed, it just never really "went" anywhere.

M. Bailey
I read the Prologue and had an internal debate as to whether or not I would actually continue reading. While there is some good descriptions about techniques for deep-sea fishing, the rest of the chapter seemed unlikely and forced. I was completely...   Read More

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