James Hall Books

James W. Hall is an American novelist and poet that hails from Florida. He is best known for writing a series of mystery thrillers, the Thorn Mysteries. A Kentucky native, he got his Bachelor’s in literature from Eckerd College previously Florida Presbyterian College, a Masters in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Literature from the University of Utah. He currently lives in Key Largo, Florida with his family and two dogs Sofie and Travis.

Order of Harper McDaniel Series

# Read Title Published
1 When They Come for You 2017

Order of James Hall Short Story Collections

# Read Title Published
1 Paper Products 1990

Order of Thorn Mystery Series

# Read Title Published
1 Under Cover of Daylight 1987
2 Tropical Freeze 1989
3 Mean High Tide 1994
4 Gone Wild 1995
5 Buzz Cut 1996
6 Red Sky at Night 1997
7 Blackwater Sound 2002
8 Off the Chart 2003
9 Magic City 2007
10 Hell's Bay 2008
11 Silencer 2009
12 Dead Last 2011
13 Going Dark 2013
14 The Big Finish 2014

Order of James Hall Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published
1 Bones of Coral 1991
2 Hard Aground 1992
3 Body Language 1998
4 Rough Draft 2000
5 Forests of the Night 2004
6 The Haze (Short Story) 2016

Order of James Hall Non-Fiction Books

# Read Title Published
1 Hot Damn! 2002
2 Hit Lit 2012
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Hall got into the writing of novels in 1986 after the publication of his first novel “Under Cover of Daylight”. He is the author of over twenty novels the most popular of which are the Thorn series of novels. The popular series of novels feature an off the grid loner known as Thorn, who together with his friend Sugarman solve a range of intricate exotic crimes from espionage, to kidnapping to piracy. Several of the novels have been optioned for the big screen.


With a career spanning more than three decades, James W. Hall has been a nominee and winner of many prestigious awards for his novels over the years. The 2003 bestseller “Blackwater Sound” won the Shamus Award for Best P.I. Novel Hard Cover Novel. The 2006 published “Catch” was the winner of the Best Short Story at the Edgar Awards. Hall was also the winner of the JDM Bibliophile sponsored John D. MacDonald Award for Excellence in Florida Fiction.


The three most appreciated novels in the Thorn series of novels by James W. Hall are:

Under Cover of Daylight: Hall’s debut novel that introduced the enigmatic loner Thorn is definitely one of his most popular. It is a well-crafted and exciting novel with an action filled Plot, and believable yet complex characters. The lead protagonist Thorn has a dark past that he does not like to talk about. In an act of savage revenge, he had tracked down and killed the drunken hit and run driver that had killed both of his parents.

Over a decade after his brutal act, he still relives the events of the fateful day when darkness took over his soul, leading him to do the despicable. Not a soul knows of his pain or the truth of that day, not his lover Sarah Ryan nor his friend Sugarman. But just when he believes that he may just be getting over the incident, the nightmare begins anew as his adopted mother is savagely murdered. He cannot help but feel the bile rage and desire for revenge rise, as he traces the killer and waits for the opportune moment to strike.

Hell’s Bay: The tenth novel in the Thorn Mysteries is a novel full of suspense and fear as a family’s dark past comes back to haunt one of its long-forgotten members threatening his life. Thorn finds himself deep in the South Florida wilds for a fishing expedition in the mangrove swamps and lakes of Hell Bay, where he meets the Bates family. The Bates family is descended from the earliest of pioneer families in Florida, and have vast holding in mining and real estate. Thorn stumbles into the body of the matriarch Abigail Bates floating on the Peace River and soon finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation.

Things get even more complicated when Abigail’s eldest son and her beautiful granddaughter arrive on the scene to claim Thorn as their long-lost relative, and requesting that he help solve the matriarch’s death puzzle. Accepting the challenge, he goes into investigation mode. Little does he know that the killer is already on the trail of the family looking to take them out. The Bates family boat soon becomes a precarious sanctuary in the midst of escalating violence meted out by a vicious killer determined to destroy the entire family.

Red Sky at Night: The sixth novel in the series is a titillating thriller with unparalleled suspense. When eleven dolphins are found killed in their saltwater tanks, Thorn is called in to investigate. The case is set to be one of his most dangerous cases as he soon finds himself the victim of a vicious attack that leaves him in unrelenting pain, and paralyzed from the waist down. Now forced to start anew as a paraplegic in a wheelchair, he seeks the help of his doctor friend who is a specialist in alternative pain medication.

Bean Wilson his childhood friend and now doctor was once a man destined for greatness, but a debilitating injury sustained in the Vietnam War leaves him with bitterness and simmering rage. He now runs a pain relief clinic in Key West assisted by Pepper Tremaine a six-foot tall girl. But underneath the guise of a respectable research facility is a man treating his patients as lab rats. Seeking a cure for human pain Thorn is the perfect candidate for an insane and ruthless doctor that finds therapeutic relief by causing others pain.