Florida authors from John D. MacDonald to Randy Wayne White to Carl Hiaasen are well known for featuring issues related to the environment in their writing. The Thorn series by James W. Hall has always woven ocean and water issues into the stories about an off-the-grid fly-tying loner from the Florida Keys.
This time the focus is on Thorn’s son, Flynn, who in the last title of the series ran off to join the radical eco-underground group that opposes big business and other despoilers of nature. The only contact Thorn has had with Flynn are the occasional post cards indicating which act of eco-terrorism his group had perpetrated. But one day a postcard arrives that’s different than the others–it’s a cry for help.
One of Thorn’s most redeeming–and at the same time terrifying–traits is his drive to right wrongs, and now he directs his rage at those who may have hurt his son. A federal agent contacts him and offers to help, if only to use Thorn as bait to expose the group. But as he uncovers information about the agent, her partners, and the business his son’s group was targeting, Thorn discovers a scheme that goes far beyond the small town thugs and polluters he thought were involved.
Hall’s writing is tight and gripping, and you feel swept up into the action from the very beginning. The tense interactions between the characters as they learn about each other’s truths, motives, and the threat of betrayal underscore the paranoia and secrecy of the eco-underground. I highly recommend this, the most recent title in the Thorn series, and any other book in the series.