Thorn Mystery Books

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Author James W. Hall pens this series that stars Thorn, which is the only name given for him. As a loner, he does not really have the social skills that fit in with modern Florida. He is not actually a private investigator, rather more of an avenger that lives in the Florida Keys.

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Order of Thorn Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Under Cover of Daylight ( By: James W. Hall) 1987 Description / Buy
2 Tropical Freeze ( By: James W. Hall) 1989 Description / Buy
3 Mean High Tide ( By: James W. Hall) 1994 Description / Buy
4 Gone Wild ( By: James W. Hall) 1995 Description / Buy
5 Buzz Cut ( By: James W. Hall) 1996 Description / Buy
6 Red Sky at Night ( By: James W. Hall) 1997 Description / Buy
7 Blackwater Sound ( By: James W. Hall) 2002 Description / Buy
8 Off the Chart ( By: James W. Hall) 2003 Description / Buy
9 Magic City ( By: James W. Hall) 2007 Description / Buy
10 Hell's Bay ( By: James W. Hall) 2008 Description / Buy
11 Silencer ( By: James W. Hall) 2009 Description / Buy
12 Dead Last ( By: James W. Hall) 2011 Description / Buy
13 Going Dark ( By: James W. Hall) 2013 Description / Buy
14 The Big Finish ( By: James W. Hall) 2014 Description / Buy
15 Bad Axe (By: James W. Hall) 2020 Description / Buy
16 Trickster (By: James W. Hall) 2022 Description / Buy
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His parents were killed by some drunk hit and run drivers and he took revenge against them. He ties bonefish flies as well as partners up with Sugarman, who is his private eye buddy. Together, they are able to stop a wide range of villains. The author says that the character is based on Spenser, Travis McGee, Henry David Thoreau, and some of the protagonists from the work by Elmore Leonard.

The series began being published in the year 1987, when “Under Cover of Daylight” was released. It was also Hall’s debut novel, and like a lot of his work, is set in the state of Florida (more specifically the Everglades and Key West). The series is from the suspense and thriller genres, and makes up a lot of Thorn’s output of novels.


He was given a John D. MacDonald award for Florida Fiction Excellence, in part for his work on this series.


For those readers looking to get into the “Thorn Mystery” series by James W. Hall, this section will help with that. It will go over the novels “Under Cover of Daylight”, “Tropical Freeze”, and “Mean High Tide”.

Under Cover of Daylight: This is the first novel in the “Thorn Mystery” series and was released in the year 1987. Fifteen years after Thorn got revenge for the death of his mom and dad, he is still unable to get over the moment of his revenge or the darkness that was taken into his own soul.

Not even his best friend, Sugarman, knows what the truth is. His own lover, named Sarah Ryan, knows how deep his pain goes. It all starts over for him, when Thorn’s foster mom is found butchered. Thorn is almost able to taste his rage as he hunts her murderer and lies in wait for them.

Tropical Freeze: This is the second novel in the “Thorn Mystery” series and was released in the year 1989. Thorn is looking for a boyhood friend of his, named Gaeton Richards, who disappeared under some mysterious circumstances. It gets Thorn caught up in a tangled web of intrigue and violence. It takes all over the place. From the local bars to some glittering ocean villas.

Thorn takes Gaeton’s sister for a lover, and finds that he is faced with a jealous lunatic tracking her. There is also a government agent gone rogue that is part of a murderous scam, as well as some unforgettable crooks from the underworld, some hired guns with twisted morals, and losers that are quite dangerous.

Mean High Tide: This is the third novel in the “Thorn Mystery” series and was released in the year 1994. Key Largo, under the still blue waters, a female dives into an array of color that dazzles. Hiding behind the colorful fish, in the reef’s shadows, there is a trap of death waiting for her. In just sixty minutes, a life will be brilliantly and brutally taken, and someone else’s will be thrown into obsession, fury, and revenge.

Thorn, whose world is open waters, mangrove islands, and ghosts of his past. Darcy Richards meant the world to him. Now finding out who killed her does. He wades out into a mystery that seeths, and Thorn is thrown into a nightmare full of deception and violence. Somewhere is a young woman that has a hard come on, an diabolical guy who was once with the CIA, and an ex mobster that is getting too old. What each has in common with each other, is their mad ruthlessness. There is also a small red fish that make some quite dead, while others get quite rich off of it.


Be sure to check out the “Alex McKnight Mystery” series by Steve Hamilton. This series is set in Paradise, Michigan, and the books have been acclaimed. It stars a former police detective that comes from the city of Detroit.

Fans also enjoy the “Amos Decker” series by David Baldacci. This series stars Amos Decker, who is an ex-pro football player that got hit violently on the first play he was in for. It caused his brain to change and some severe injuries.

What Is The Next Book in The Thorn Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Thorn Series. The newest book is Trickster and was released on July, 4th 2022.

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