Rough Draft

Hall, James

Published by St Martins, 2000, 2000
ISBN 10: 0312203837 / ISBN 13: 9780312203832
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Hard Cover. VG, Slight Spine Lean/Fine in Plastic DJ Cover. First Edition, First Printing. Signed by the Author on the Title Page. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis:

Pawn of the FBI and prey for a psychopath, ex-cop Hannah Keller is running for her life in this electrifying new thriller from one of Florida?s most acclaimed authors ? hailed by James Ellroy as ?the master?.

Five years after leaving the Miami PD, ex-cop Hannah Keller still can?t escape the memories of her disastrous final case: of how her young son saw his grandparents murdered in front of his eyes and how she failed to find their killer. In her new career as a crime novelist she has tried to put those terrible events behind her ? until the day she stumbles across a copy of her first novel covered in strange cryptic markings. She realizes that these are not the ravings of a madman but a code that could lead to the murderer. The challenge is irresistible, but soon she finds herself caught up in an FBI scheme that hurtles wildly out of control, leaving Hannah and her son running for their lives from the hitman from hell.

Review: James Hall's series about beach bum Thorne ( Bones of Coral, Buzz Cut, Hard Aground) placed him firmly in a Holy Trinity of Floridian crime novelists. Like Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen, Hall brought to life Florida's alluring, addictive mix of sand and ocean, hibiscus and alligator, tanned skin and pastel stucco. Rough Draft, however, is less concerned with place than with plot: Miami is a cipher, a generic background for the convoluted whodunit (or perhaps more precisely, who's doing it to whom) Hall weaves around former policewoman and successful crime writer Hannah Keller.

Fiercely protective of her brilliant but haunted 11-year-old son, who five years ago witnessed the murders of his grandparents(presumably by the embezzler his grandfather was pursuing), Hannah becomes an unwitting pawn in an FBI operation to catch Hal Bonner. Bonner is a Cali assassin with a particularly brutal "signature". Since JJ Fielding escaped with $463 million in drug money, Hal is hot on his trail; if--the FBI assumes--he can be persuaded that Hannah has found Fielding and the cash, he'll emerge from hiding to exact revenge. They lay a series of clues for Hannah to follow, beginning with a gruesomely annotated copy of her first book that seems to be a direct message from her parents' killer. But as the 72 hours allotted to the plan unfold, it becomes increasingly clear that Hannah will not be led by breadcrumbs; she prefers making her own path.

For sheer presence and emotional depth, Hannah may not be on a par with Alexandra Rafferty, the Miami police photographer of Body Language, and the machinations of the FBI agents--mostly an unpleasant bunch who are wound tighter than the proverbial top--may seem so labyrinthine as to verge on the ridiculous. But Hall serves up a delicious pair of villains in Hal and Misty (who is stalking Hannah for her own purposes). The slow-thinking killer and the quick-talking Hooters girl are chillingly vicious and oddly funny; picture a Capra-esque screwball courtship conducted at the Bates Motel. --Kelly Flynn

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Rough Draft
Publisher: St Martins, 2000
Publication Date: 2000
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: VG, Slight Spine Lean
Edition: First Edition, First Printing

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