From Publishers Weekly
Police detective Charlotte Monroe arrives home in Coral Gables, Fla., one evening to find her lawyer husband, Parker, and their teenage daughter, Gracey, chatting amiably with a man she's never met, Jacob Bright Sky Panther, the Cherokee nephew of one of Parker's old friends. The always observant Charlotte recognizes Panther's face—he's number eight on the FBI's Most Wanted list. Before the SWAT team can arrive, Panther has fled with Gracey in tow, and this fast-paced, entertaining thriller has kicked into high gear, taking the reader to the mountains of North Carolina and deep into the pasts of Panther, Parker and the entire Cherokee Nation. The plot linking these characters is, predictably, convoluted and over the top, but it's compelling, with action scenes that bristle with visceral intensity. But Hall's real strength is characterization. Charlotte is a fascinating protagonist with an unusually valuable gift—an unparalleled ability to interpret facial expressions—but her role is more that of concerned parent and troubled wife (one hopes her investigative prowess will be a future novel's focus). Nearly everyone has real depth, and the author's appreciation for history and its reverberations adds further complexity.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Hall has long been a favorite of critics and fans alike. He creates page-turners, sure, but his books are much more than that: they offer multi-dimensional characters with rich inner lives. Hall has taught creative writing for the past 32 years at Florida International University, and perhaps this explains how he mastered the skills that have critics resoundingly praising his 13th book, Forests of the Night
. Though the Plain Dealer
thinks burgeoning (but not always fully developed) plot lines weigh down the book, critics otherwise universally laud the novel for its suspense, historical perspective, and the way in which Halls characters both expand and surpass the crime genre.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.