Gone Wild

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9780385312318: Gone Wild

From James W. Hall, the highly acclaimed best-selling author of Hard Aground, Mean High Tide, and Bones Of Coral, comes a stunning and superbly rendered new thriller in which the most deadly animals in the jungle are the ones that kill for money. With one poacher's bullet, a young woman's life is tragically, brutally taken--and her mother's is shattered forever.  Thus begins Gone Wild, James W. Hall's electrifying new novel, which penetrates the lush, sultry jungles of Africa and Malaysia to explore the mercenary slaughter of animals-and to expose the savagery and humanity in us all. Gone Wild brings back Thorn, the haunting, quixotic hero last seen in the best-seller Mean High Tide.  And in a novel filled with the author's signatures exotic locales, vise-tightening suspense, steamy sexuality, hypnotic prose--Hall introduces a bold new element: one of the toughest, most complex female characters in modern fiction.  Allison Farleigh's desperate struggle to save the endangered orangutans from poachers--and to uncover the truth about her daughter's murder--give the novel its passion and its fire.  And the shocking international conspiracy she exposes in the process gives Gone Wild its relentless, heart-pounding tension. A mesmerizing journey into the heart of darkness, Gone Wild is one of those rare thrillers that not only makes you sweat--it makes you think.

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About the Author:

James Hall, a former art critic of the Guardian, was awarded the first Bernard Denvir Prize for an outstanding young critic. He is the author of 20 novels, 14 of which feature Thorn, the off-the-grid loner who lives a primitive existence in Key Largo, Florida. Thorn and his friend Sugarman, an African-American PI, team up to solve exotic crimes from animal smuggling to piracy to kidnapping to espionage. Hall has won the Edgar Award and the Shamus and several of his novels have been optioned for film.

From Booklist:

Previous Hall novels, especially the marvelous Hard Aground (1993), have explored Florida's tangled, troubled history, revealing a fetid undergrowth of greed and exploitation. Those twin agents of evil are again present in this latest effort, but here the landscape is broader, extending from South Florida to the jungles of Borneo, where Allison Farleigh and her two daughters, Sean and Winslow, are helping with the annual orangutan census. Poachers interrupt their work, and Winslow is murdered, leaving Allison bent on revenge. The trail leads back to Florida and ultimately to her own family, as Allison uncovers a sweeping, multimillion-dollar scheme to profit from the killing and capture of endangered species. Also along for the chase is Thorn, the vagabond knight errant last encountered in Tropical Freeze (1989) and here playing a subordinate role as Allison's iconoclastic sidekick. Hall integrates a minicourse on the plight of orangutans into his crime story, vividly dramatizing the animals' human-caused travails in an effective subplot following the fate of one ape captured in Borneo and smuggled into Florida to be sold as a pet. Attempts to deliver messages on a variety of social and environmental issues have ruined many a crime novel, but Hall mixes his ingredients flawlessly, even throwing a couple of typically addled Miami psychos into the stew as the low-life poachers. Whether it's orangutans or South Florida sleaze that draws readers in, they're certain to leave satisfied. Bill Ott

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