Master of suspense James W. Hall's Hell's Bay sends Thorn deep into the wilds of South Florida, in a story with all the haunting atmosphere of Deliverance and the sheer terror of Cape Fear.
Descended from pioneer stock, the Bateses are an aristocratic Floridian family with vast holdings in real estate and mining. When matriarch Abigail Bates is discovered drowned in the Peace River, a chain of events is set into motion, embroiling Thorn with a family he never knew he had and a fortune he doesn't necessarily want.
Thorn is leading a fishing expedition into the isolated lakes and mangrove swamps of Hell's Bay when Abigail's son and beautiful granddaughter arrive, claiming Thorn as a long-lost relative and asking him to solve the woman's murder. Little do they know that the killer is already on their trail. Soon their houseboat becomes a precarious island of safety in a landscape of escalating violence. What does the killer want? And why is their predator so enraged, determined to kill them all no matter what the cost?
As Marilyn Stasio said in The New York Times, "If violence can be poetic, Hall has the lyric voice for it." In this tour de force of fear and suspense, Hall shows how one family's dark past comes back to haunt its most remote member---and may ultimately cost him his life.
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February 04, 2008
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