From an acclaimed "master of suspense"(New York Times Book Review) comes a thriller in which Thorn must confront an assassin whose victims and methods are taken directly from the script of a popular TV show
April Moss writes obituaries for the Miami Herald. Her son, Sawyer, also a writer, has been scripting a cable TV series called "Miami Ops" and has been using his mother's work as a central element of the show's storyline. In "Miami Ops," a serial killer is using obituaries published in the local paper as a blueprint for selecting his next victims.
But midway through the season, a copycat appears off-screen, a real-life killer who is using the same strategy to select victims. When this serial killer crosses paths with the reclusive Thorn, he has no choice but to leave his sanctuary in Key Largo and join forces with a young policewoman from Oklahoma who is investigating the murders.
In addition to the show's head writer, April's other son, Sawyer's twin brother, works on "Miami Ops" as the lead actor. Could one of them be involved in the killings? Or are they orchestrated by the director of the TV series, an aging mogul who badly needs a hit? And what about the female star of the show, a deliciously strange young woman who seems willing to do anything to promote her career.
Thorn walks into this hotbed of entertainment business intrigue totally unprepared for the life-altering shocker he's about to face. This loner from Key Largo has brought down his share of killers, but he's never confronted one that was his own flesh and blood.
With the pacing of a thriller, and the lyrical prose for which Hall is renowned, this story pits Thorn against a killer—or killers—whose motives are as elusive as their identities.
In Edgar-winner Hall's compelling 12th novel featuring Florida PI Daniel Thorn (after 2010's Silencer), Thorn mourns the sudden death of his new wife, Rusty Stabler, in typically idiosyncratic fashion by burning his possessions. Then Buddha Hilton, the 19-year-old sheriff of Starkville, Okla., arrives in Key Largo to ask for Thorn's help. Rusty's aunt, Michaela Stabler, who was Buddha's adoptive mother, has been stabbed to death in Starkville; Rusty's Miami Herald obituary was placed beside Michaela's body. The juxtaposition of clipping and corpse mimics a TV drama, Miami Ops, which employs the twin sons of the obituary's writer, April Moss, whom Thorn knew briefly years before. Is Michaela's killing a stunt designed to save a failing show or an act with a murkier purpose? As Thorn attempts to untangle fact from fiction, a revelation about his past changes his life. As always, Hall combines crisp prose, solid psychology, sardonic humor, and glimpses of an edgy, fast-changing Florida into a suspenseful and satisfying whole.