I remember picking up my first James W. Hall book, and the first book about Daniel Oliver Thorn. I gave it four stars.
Ended up reading everything Jim Hall has written, even his poetry. Met him and talked with him last September in St. Augustine at a writer's conference and he's such an amiable and witty fellow. Just a real nice guy, so it really bothers me that I can't give this book better than two stars.
Thorn (and Hall) has come full circle in his more than 20 year career; losing his parents when he was a kid; losing his brother as a young adult; having multiple partners, none to keep long; and finding out he was rich, then giving it all away. The only thing stable in Thorn's life has been his good friend Sugarman, from his childhood.
However, the last few books, this one in particular, have been so disappointing to me with no depth of the characters, flimsy storylines, and little intrigue. They just haven't been good, readable and entertaining books.
The one and only thing I enjoyed about this book was Hall's wonderful description of the landscape which happens to be in Miami this go around. (Thorn lives in the Keys.) Hall is surperb with the written word; his phasing and use of adjectives allow the reader to visualize the scenery so clearly. And I love books set in Florida, so I was 'at home' again.
Been thinking about how I enjoyed Hall's earlier books and wondering if my taste has changed or Hall's writing has changed. Read through some reviews and it's about 50-50, good and bad. One fellow said that if you didn't like this book, you need to change the genre of books you read! No, I stand with the ones who said it just wasn't all that good, even though I do it with a heavy heart. I'm sure I'll read the next one published probably in November. Just hoping, please Hall, make it better than the last three books.