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Going Dark (Thorn Mysteries) Hardcover – December 3, 2013

3.9 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews
Book 13 of 14 in the Thorn Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Thorn is a hermetic, fly-tying loner whose attempts to carve a separate peace for himself on Key Largo are only intermittently successful. Inevitably, he is drawn into somebody else’s fight, or, in a kind of reverse serendipity, simply walks into a mess that needs fixing. And when Thorn gets to fixing something, he doesn’t stop until the job’s done. Ah, but collateral damage, there’s the rub. Too often Thorn’s knight-errantry puts those he loves in danger. This time it’s a little different. The problem is Thorn’s newly discovered son (Dead Last, 2011), who has joined forces with a band of ecoterrorists who have designs on Florida’s largest nuclear-power plant. (The plan is supposed to be nonviolent, but a cell within the cell has other ideas.) Thorn’s only hope of extricating his son is to join up with the terrorists, which raises the bar on possible collateral damage to a new high. Hall is one of those rare thriller writers who can build character as he ratchets tension, who can do no-holds-barred action scenes with panache and, in the midst of bedlam, never lose sight of nuance. All those skills are on display here, as Hall assembles a full-bodied supporting cast whose stories hold our interest as much as Thorn’s attempt to save his son without helping to bring about a South Florida version of Chernobyl. A fine thriller on every level. --Bill Ott

Review

“Hall's latest novel, titled Going Dark proves he's one of the best genre writers working today.” ―Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered

“Among the best [of Florida writers] is James W. Hall. . . . As the story spins forward, Hall builds the suspense and violence to what could literally be a breaking point for South Florida. Along the way, he treats the reader to gorgeous prose about the state's natural bounty, advances his development of Thorn, supplies multiple shocks and proves that not all of Florida's reptiles slither on their bellies.” ―Richmond Times-Dispatch

“As ever, Hall is in colorful command of his South Florida setting… Compared to other mystery writers, he plays things refreshingly low key, but he's always in control, thriving on the setup as much as the payoff …with its nicely observed characters and lively dialogue--and terrific sex scenes--it keeps readers turning the pages.” ―Kirkus

“Hall is one of those rare thriller writers who can build character as he ratchets tension, who can do no-holds-barred action scenes with panache and, in the midst of bedlam, never lose sight of nuance. All those skills are on display here, as Hall assembles a full-bodied supporting cast whose stories hold our interest as much as Thorn's attempt to save his son without helping to bring about a South Florida version of Chernobyl. A fine thriller on every level.” ―Booklist on Going Dark

“Superlative….Hall steadily ratchets the suspense while seamlessly combining elements of Florida's natural history with elements of the state's early development and overdevelopment.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred) on Silencer

“A damn good mystery.” ―Booklist on Dead Last

“Hall's ability to evoke the deep, primeval essence of the Bay and Glades--the water, air, wildlife, feral excitement--are unmatched, and the life and death struggle that ensues is heightened and set apart by a heavy ambivalence…With his unerring sense of place, and a frighteningly sure grasp of the dark side, nobody cooks it up like Hall.” ―Miami Herald

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Product Details

  • Series: Thorn Mysteries (Book 10)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (December 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250005000
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250005007
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #646,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been a huge James W. Hall fan for years and, once again, he does not disappoint. Well crafted Florida mystery featuring my favorite "flawed" hero. Fast paced and multi faceted.....a terrific read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a good story and Thorn does not disappoint in this book. The twists and turns and all of the various new characters in Thorns life adds to the story and creates interest for future books. Recommended
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Loved It. JW Hall has still it. This book is one of his best. My favorite by James W. is Blackwater Sound. To me, this is just as fine of a read. It kept me up reading at night wanting to see where the plot took me. I always look forward to the next James W. Hall book! Thanks again! 5 stars from me.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is the latest in the series whose protagonist is Daniel Oliver Thorn, “the man from Key Largo” known simply as Thorn, “a loner by choice,” whose well-deserved reputation is that of someone “going off the rails at warp speed.” (Although it should be noted that this time out he’s probably the most stable person in the book.) The supporting characters returning here are all memorable: Laurence Sugarman, known to all as “Sugar,” a private detective and former deputy sheriff with a Norwegian mother and Rastafarian dad and an “outsider by blood” and Thorn’s lifelong friend; April Moss, the journalist he met many years ago and with whom he had a very brief, but very intense, history, also known as a one-night stand, making a brief appearance, as well as the son who was a product of that encounter, Flynn Moss, who Thorn barely knew and hadn’t seen for over a year.

When Cameron Prince, a huge man Thorn knows only by reputation, is found walking around his property one morning, but is brushed off by the man after he refuses to say who he is or why he’s there, Thorn of course does not let it go at that. After he tracks the man down, he discovers that Flynn is involved with Prince and with his group, the local branch of the Earth Liberation Front (“ELF”), which has so far caused millions of dollars in damage, mainly through arson.

This entry in the series introduces (I think for the first time, though I’m not certain) Frank Sheffield, an FBI agent for over 30 years and for the last dozen Special Agent in Charge of the Miami field office, now nearing 60. The protagonists’ p.o.v. are juxtaposed from Thorn to Sheffield, with the latter on a mission to discover ELF’s next planned target, and Thorn getting involved with the group in order to protect his naïve young son.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Going Dark" is the latest novel featuring James Hall's signature character Thorn. Despite his efforts to remain isolated in the wilds of Florida, maverick loner Thorn finds himself inextricably drawn into a plot with eco-terrorists to disable Florida's largest nuclear power plant at Turkey Point. After a confrontation with a shady character named Cameron Prince, Thorn investigates Prince, a member of a powerful Florida family located on their own island called Prince Key. Thorn accidentally discovers that Flynn Moss, a son he only recently discovered, is somehow tied in with Prince and a group of eco-terrorists.

Thorn seeks the group out in an effort to find out what his son is involved in and finds himself forced to participate in a plot to disable Southern Florida's nuclear power plant at Turkey Point to protect Flynn. Members of the Earth Liberation Front, ELF, have decided to make a public statement against nuclear power by disabling the plant.

Meanwhile, Frank Sheffield, a special agent in the FBI and a former acquaintance of Thorn's, is closing in on the suspected plot at Turkey Point. It appears that Sheffield has been getting information from Flynn but he has no idea that Thorn is now a part of the conspiracy. For his part, Thorn is trying to protect his son, prevent nuclear catastrophe, and keep as many people alive as possible.

"Going Dark" presents a considerable number of characters, some who are more fully fleshed than others, and many whose loyalties are questionable and/or change throughout the course of the novel. Just who can be trusted and whose side are many of them on?
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Format: Kindle Edition
Mysterious Book Report No. 148 - Going Dark
by John Dwaine McKenna
My old friend Caywood was opposed to modern technology. He hated microwave ovens and cell phones, but most of all he hated computers. He’d say, only half joking, “Computers are the work of the Devil, and when we’re totally dependent on ‘em . . . that damned old Devil’s gonna shut off all the electricity. You just see how effed-up everything gets then.” I laughed and treated it as a joke when he said that back in 2001. Caywood passed in 2004, a victim of ALS, or Lou Gherig’s disease, but his comment has only gotten more prescient over the years. We would all be screwed without electricity. The world as we know it would grind to an instant halt without the energy we all expect whenever we flip a light switch.
Going Dark, (Minotaur Books, $25.99, 295 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-00500-7) by James W Hall is about such an event: eco-terrorists are plotting to take out the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Station in south Florida. All of Miami and the southern one-third of the state will be in the dark if the members of the Earth Liberation Front, ELF for short, have their way. ELF is ranked by the FBI as the number one domestic terror group in the US, responsible for one hundred million dollars of property damage in the last decade, mostly by arson. In the novel, a new radical ELF cell has gathered on an island in BiscayanBay. Their plan is to shut down the Turkey Point Power Plant for a few hours in a huge, non-violent publicity stunt, exposing the public to the inherent dangers of nuclear power. Unknown to the altruistic leaders of the cell, two members of their group are planning a far more deadly event . . . one that could leave the area a wasteland.
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