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Blackwater Sound
By James W. Hall

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Blackwater Sound

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Blackwater Sound
By James W. Hall
Center Point Press, 2002
ISBN: 1-58547-168-2
Genre: Thriller

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - January 21, 2003

Losing ones fortune is horrid, losing ones son is inconsolable. The Braswell's, a wealthy and powerful family, must face both hellish prospects. As the owners of MicroDyne, a high tech company, the Braswell's had fame, fortune, and power. Yet it was all an illusion based upon wealth. As their wealth faded, so did their social prestige and their power. There was still hope, however, for a resurgence of the family's pride, and its fortune. Their hope was named Andy, the eldest Braswell boy. All their dreams and their hopes died in one terrible instance, when Andy died in a freak accident while marlin fishing with his family.

The accident occurred south of Key West, and Andy's body was not recovered. Ten years later, the wounds that the family received as a result of Andy's death never fully healed. What little healing that had occurred was cruelly undone when an airliner crashes into Florida Bay. As the bodies began to be pulled from the water's murky depths, so did the families secrets.

Thorn , happens to be fishing in the area, and witness the plane crash. Without a second thought, he hurries off to see hunt for survivors. While Thorn struggles to save as many people as possible, he notices in the distance a trio of people on a boat who just appear to be watching the drama unfolding before them, rather than helping. As Thorn soon finds out, two of these 'watchers' are Morgan and Johnny Braswell, Andy's sister and brother.

Reluctantly, Thorn becomes caught up in the nasty mystery surrounding the Braswell's. When the Braswell's effectively kidnap Lawton Collins, Thorn joins forces with Lawton's daughter, Alexandra Rafferty, to rescue the old man, whose mind tends to wander. Alexandra is a police photographer, who, along with her father, a former police investigator, have appeared along side of Thorn in several other thrillers by James W. Hall.

To complicate matters, Thorn discovers that the Braswell's have developed a sinister device that, in the wrong hands, which includes the Braswell's, could wreck havoc on the world. With breath taking action, Thorn sets out to rescue Lawton and to prevent the Braswell's from marketing their evil device. Along the way Thorn uncovers a host of skeletons in the Braswell's closet, including, but not limited to, incest and murder.

Blackwater Sound, by James W. Hall, is the latest addition to Hall's series of books featuring Thorn. Hall's writing is exciting, and the characters are lively and naturalistic and more often than not, psychotic. In short, Hall has crafted a well-plotted and action-packed story about a family driven over the edge by the tragic death of the eldest son.

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