A novel based on real events and newly declassified documents, Magic City is to Miami what L.A. Confidential and Chinatown were to Los Angeles. It evokes a time in our nation's history when powerful men were willing to do whatever they thought necessary to achieve their goals.
A simple black and white photograph taken during the 1964 Cassius Clay-Sonny Liston fight on Miami Beach may hold the key to a horrific, politically-motivated crime forty-two years earlier. After it suddenly appears on display at a trendy Miami gallery opening, the photograph is burned in an act of arson that sets off a modern-day murder spree, reaching from the quiet neighborhoods of Miami to the back corridors of the White House.
What the killer didn't know is that there is one remaining copy. When it falls into Thorn's hands, he and everyone he loves become the target of madmen and trained killers, each of whom has his own powerful motive to see the photograph destroyed forever and its mysteries kept hidden.
To find retribution for the death of a loved one, Thorn joins forces with a dangerous enemy to solve a maddening puzzle. At its center are two families from very different worlds with their own dark secrets. Unraveling this dangerous riddle shakes the foundation of his bond with both Alexandra and his closest friend, and sends him on a deadly journey. But cover-ups have a way of disintegrating over time, especially when someone like Thorn is pounding on the door. Magic City is an epic crime thriller--exposing the past of a city in a time capsule of a novel.
In the fast, entertaining 14th novel from Edgar- and Shamus-winner Hall (after 2005's Forests of the Night), the sharp-witted, multitalented Key Largo beach bum, Thorn, follows his girlfriend, Alexandra, to Miami, where he's caught in the violence whirling around a decades-old photograph taken during the 1964 Cassius Clay vs. Sonny Liston heavyweight boxing championship. After Thorn is threatened by two Cuban-American men looking for Alexandra's father, he starts investigating and in short order uncovers evidence of a plot to destroy all copies of the photo--and, if necessary, kill anyone who owns or has access to the prints. As Alexandra's father--a retired Miami cop as well as an old friend--is one such person, Thorn naturally takes a personal interest in stopping the men. While Thorn is no Travis McGee (John D. McDonald holds the edge in depictions of sharp-witted Florida beach bums), Hall offers lively characters, livelier dialogue and an excellent depiction of contemporary south Florida. 75,000 first printing; author tour. (Mar.)
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March 06, 2007
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