Created by James W. Hall

Arguably the greatest of Travis McGee‘s wayward literary children, THORN isn’t really a P.I. (or even a “salvage consultant”), although he does occasionally take money to “look into” things. He’s more of an “avenger,” dark and brooding division. He makes his home in Key Largo, Florida, far from the grid, avoiding credit cards or a driver’s license, living off a meager income generated by the sale of hand-tied fishing lures, and the fish he catches in the coastal shallows, and trying to come to terms with his violent past. Fortunately for readers, he doesn’t always succeed.

It turns out that Thorn’s parents were killed by a drunk driver when he was a baby. As a teenager, Thorn found and murdered that drunk driver. But hey, that’s just the way he rolls…

Imagine a darker, more cynical, almost noirish Carl Hiaasen, armed with a sword instead of a pen, a darker, meaner McGee or perhpas a Jack Reacher with slightly more permanent roots.

Edgar and Shamus winner James W. Hall was born in Kentucky in 1947 and graduated from Florida Presbyterian College in 1969 with a B.A. in literature, and a deep love of Florida. He went on to earn an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah, then did everything in his power to return to Florida. He eventually found a job in Miami at Florida International University — after working as a landscaper) and now teaches literature and creative writing. His long-promised, long-awaited study of what makes a bestseller, entitled Hit Lit: Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century’s Biggest Bestsellers, was finally released in 2012.


  • “…I based Thorn on equal parts Travis McGee, Robert Parker’s Spenser, Henry David Thoreau, Elmore Leonard’s usual strong silent hero, and my next door neighbor in Key Largo. I wanted someone who was funny and three dimensional and tough. I wanted him to have a past and to be something of a brooder.”
    — James W. Hall


  • “No one has written more lyrically of the Gulf Stream since Ernest Hemingway.”
    — James Lee Burke
  • “No writer working today… more clearly evokes the shadows and loss that hide within the human heart.”
    — Robert Crais
  • “Old enough to harbor doubts and regrets, (Thorn) clings to a code that keeps propelling him into harm’s way. . . . [Hall’s] vision takes in both the beauty and the horror of his chosen turf, the dangerous Southern landscape that McGee once trod. He’s a strong and welcome voice.”
    — Washington Post



Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Bluefox808 for the word to the wise.

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