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Forests of the Night [Mass Market Paperback]

James W. Hall

Price: 4.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 369 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; Reprint edition (29 Nov 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312937016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312937010
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.7 x 2.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,095,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Forests of the Night A centuries-old legacy of deception and betrayal flares in the Cherokee Nation, and a tough female detective must uncover the sinister conspiracy it has spawned in this latest atmospheric thriller from the bestselling author of "Blackwater Sound." Martin's Press. Full description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Odd, but engaging. 22 Feb 2005
By Jerry Saperstein - Published on
"Forests Of The Night" is built on a weak premise: that Charlotte Monroe has a "sixth sense" about people, particularly criminals. The story is really a mishmash of pseudoscientists trying to harness Charlotte's semi-psychic abilities, a decades old spat between Cherokees and a local family, a dark spot in Charlotte's and the public defender who rescued and then married her. Throw in a psychotic daughter, a son who magically appears, a direct line to the FBI's head and a few other odds and ends and you have it all.

The story is stilted to a large degree, depending on contrivances to move the plot forward. There is never any real suspense, but Hall is still readable.

My suggestion is to put this one on the list for when there's nothing else you really want to read. It isn't bad; it just isn't a page-turner.

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another solid effort from James Hall 27 Jan 2006
By mrliteral - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
With Forests of the Night, James Hall takes a break from his series of Thorn novels. This book follows Miami cop Charlotte Monroe, a woman with an exceptional ability to read other people. One day she returns from work to find her husband Parker chatting with a young Cherokee named Jacob Panther. Charlotte quickly identifies him as one of the FBI's most wanted, but before she can do much, he gets away and goes into hiding.

The bombshell of having this man in her house is followed by an even bigger one from Parker: Panther is apparently his son from a teenage romance. Parker, a criminal defense lawyer by trade, refuses to accept Panther's guilt, leading to a major conflict with Charlotte. In the middle is their sixteen year old, schizophrenic daughter who has run away in search of Panther.

Indeed, there is more to Panther's story than is initially presented, and it's all linked to an event that took place back in 1838 and is described in the prologue. (There is one historical error in this prologue, as Andrew Jackson is referred to as president; actually it was Martin Van Buren.) It is Charlotte's role to find out what this link is, even as she acts to get her daughter home.

This is a very good, well-written crime novel, although a little atypical for Hall. In most Hall books, the villain is a rather off-beat character who is warped in a unique way. In this book, the villain is a bit plainer and actually remains faceless through most of the story. Also, although Hall's books are never comic (unlike fellow Florida writer Carl Hiaasen), there usually is a touch of humor that this book doesn't have. That is not to say this book is flawed, but it is just a little different from other Hall books. However, whether you've read Hall or not, this book should not disappoint.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This fast-paced thriller is a page-turner with smarts 21 Feb 2005
By Bookreporter - Published on
This stand-alone thriller from South Florida series writer James W. Hall weaves an intricate tale of intrigue, from a posh neighborhood in Coral Gables, Florida to a hard-scrabble trailer in the hills of North Carolina. It spans generations of history, from a Cherokee murder in 1838 to current-day vendettas.

Police detective Charlotte Monroe arrives home from a grueling day of tests devised to ascertain her special skills at reading faces and body language, and finds her husband and daughter deep in conversation in the kitchen with a stranger. He looks vaguely familiar, and when she recognizes him as Number Eight on the FBI's most wanted list, she slips into her home office to alert the authorities. While she is on the phone, the man, Jacob Bright Sky Panther, abruptly leaves, and Charlotte soon discovers that her teenaged daughter Gracey has gone missing. The SWAT team is called, the chase is on, and Hall's singular skill at interweaving a dense, complicated plot into a very readable thriller has the reader turning pages.

Gracey, who suffers from schizophrenia, is a particularly interesting character whose separation from family and medications leads her to fantasies in her own delusional world. She is at great risk as her parents frantically try to find her trail. Hall is masterful at letting us into Gracey's Steven Spielberg version of life, which adds pathos and occasional humor to the extreme danger in which she finds herself.

This fast-paced literary thriller fuses historical fact, political intrigue, corruption and family feuds with deep characterizations of a troubled family facing inner terrors of their own. Charlotte's innate ability to read facial expressions could and should lead to a fascinating new series based on her character.

Hall has produced thirteen other novels, several of them featuring a Key West beach bum troubleshooter named Thorn, which have been widely received and critically acclaimed. For fans of South Florida mystery thrillers, James W. Hall is perhaps more literary than some of his famous cohorts, like Laurence Shames, Carl Hiaasen, and Randy Wayne White. FORESTS OF THE NIGHT delivers not only as a thriller but also as a page-turner with smarts.

Discovery of another exceptional mystery writer is always exciting, if costly. James W. Hall has been added to my must-read list.

--- Reviewed by Roz Shea
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Gail Cooke - Published on
Format:Audio Cassette
Laural Merlington, a veteran of countless audio book performances, is a true pro. She reads with control and distinction, allowing the narrative to carry listeners along.

Forests of the Night will more than carry listeners along - it'll have them on the edges of their seats. Charlotte Monroe is a police woman with amazing gifts - she can read people's faces and body language. She lives in Coral Gable, Florida with her husband, Parker, and their emotionally disturbed teenager, Gracey.

Gracey is so unstable that she runs away from home to be with an outlaw, not just any outlaw but Jacob Panther, a criminal on the FBI's most wanted list. The chase to find Gracey and Panther takes Charlotte to the Great Smoky Mountains and Cherokee land. Little does she know that she's now not only in North Carolina but also smack in the middle of a Cherokee feud that's been going on for over 150 years.

Hall. As always creates complex characters - no stick figures here - and parallel plots. Makes for an absorbing story and good listening.

- Gail Cooke
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary!!! 29 Jan 2005
By nobizinfla - Published on
James W. Hall has set the bar very high for mystery/thrillers coming out this year with "Forests of the Night."

It is sophisticated suspense at the highest level...distinguished writing...powerful prose.

The first rate story line is concise and examines corruption, wantonness and depravity in man. The villains are beyond salvation and vicious in the way they go about their hideous acts. The last time the criminal element was so chilling was in "Dirty White Boys" by Stephen Hunter. These thugs make your skin crawl and sleep with the light on...because you know they truly exist.

The past and present collide...going back 160 years to a deathly pact made between the government and a Cherokee patriot over "The Trail of Tears."

A present day descendent (Jacob Panther) swoops down upon a dedicated Coral Gables cop (Charlotte Monroe), her high profile lawyer husband and their schizophrenic teenaged daughter, altering the lives of all as the startling revelations unfold.

Panther has assassinated a businessman in Miami and when he takes off for North Carolina, the daughter follows and aids his flight.

The Monroes head to North Carolina and are confronted by evil incarnate in the form of a stonewalling sheriff; his father, a corrupt congressman and the congressman's reclusive brother.

Their attempts to locate and rescue their daughter are challenged at every level.

To say anymore would give away too much.

The twists are magnificent and lead to a breath-taking finish.

The villain's identity is divulged with about a hundred pages to go...and that only makes you turn the pages faster.
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