Forests of the Night

A Novel

Thorn Mysteries (Volume 6)

James W. Hall

St. Martin's Paperbacks

With the signature mix of brooding atmosphere, unforgettable villains, and mile-a-second action that readers can expect from his Thorn series, James W. Hall takes readers on an electrifying journey of suspense in Forests of the Night

Policewoman Charlotte Monroe has an ability that borders on psychic—to read people’s faces and body language, sizing up their intentions and acting before they do. It’s a real ability that the FBI is trying to teach to its agents. But Charlotte’s a natural with God-given skills, and the Feds want her in the worst way, maybe even to the point of blackmail.

But Charlotte’s gift fails to prepare her for the stranger who shows up on her doorstep with a chilling warning for her husband Parker, a mysterious note scrawled in Cherokee hieroglyphics: “You’re next.” The threat becomes more ominous as Charlotte and Parker discover the man is on the FBI Most Wanted list.

When Charlotte’s deeply troubled teenage daughter runs away to join the charismatic outlaw, she follows the two of them into the spectral mists of the Great Smoky Mountains—and to the beating heart of a 150-year-old blood feud that will endanger everything she loves and challenge everything she believes.


Praise for Forests of the Night

"Complex…chilling…[Hall's] prose style becomes almost cinematic…don't put this one aside as a beach read. A long winter's night is a better bet."--New York Daily News

"James W. Hall is one of those American novelists who deserve to make the top tier of novelists…if you haven't already discovered Blackwater Sound and Off the Chart, you'll be hunting for them after you read this one. Forests of the Night is Hall's finest work to date. It's serious, gorgeously written, and deftly plotted. It leaves you wanting another book instantly. Hall's work is being compared to Cold Mountain, but it's a whole lot better. He has the lyrical style of a Southern storyteller, reminiscent of James Lee Burke."--Boston Globe & Mail

"Breathlessly plotted…Hall skillfully shapes a wonderfully complex look at Indian lore, deep-seated prejudice, and hatred that doesn't just survive the ages but thrives…Hall combines his usual intense suspense with strong, realistic characters for vivid storytelling in Forests of the Night…his rich focus on good and evil and the lasting power of love and hate in the fast-paced Forests of the Night show the power of his skill."--Orlando Sun-Sentinel

"A page-turning thriller."--Tampa Tribune

"Absorbing…fascinating…intriguing."--Raleigh News & Observer

"Breathless and fast-paced…brisk, suspenseful."--Providence Journal-Bulletin

"A successful departure from [Hall's] usual style…[Hall]leaves the reader wanting more."
--Cleveland Plain Dealer

"The sort of first-rate thriller we have come to expect from Hall…in Forests of the Night, Hall again exhibits mastery of the craft. He knows, perhaps better than anyone in the genre, how to tap into the fundamental passions that drive us: ancient, dark, mythic passions, like those spoken round a fire at the dawn of storytelling…Hall has given us a thriller of the first magnitude."
--Miami Herald

"This fast-paced literary thriller fuses historical fact, political intrigue, corruption, and family feuds with deep characterizations of a troubled family facing inner terrors of their own…Forests of the Night delivers not only as a thriller but also as a page-turner with smarts."

"[Hall is] a writer who carefully measures out the answers in clean yet elegant prose. Hall used to be a poet. In all the important ways, he still is."--Denver Post

"A multilayered, richly characterized, and compulsively readable story…is it too early to pick a best book of the year?"--Rocky Mountain News

"A first-rate literary thriller in the tradition of Stephen Hunter's Dirty White Boys and Wayne Johnson's recent The Devil You Know."--Booklist

"The kind of story meant to be read around a campfire, providing you have a lot of wood stockpiled. Only the bravest souls would want to venture into the darkness in search of kindling after they've read the first few chapters of Forests of the Night."--Atlanta Journal Constitution

"A suspenseful, sharply detailed blend of history, family drama, and thriller, Forests of the Night cuts a wide literary swath, and does it with élan and passion."-Russell Banks, bestselling author of Affliction

"Forests of the Night moves like an arrow--lean and swift--toward its amazing target. James W. Hall is at the top of his form; he's a wonder to watch."-Reynolds Price, bestselling author of A Serious Way of Wondering and Roxanna Slade: A Novel

"Compelling…with action scenes that bristle with visceral intensity…nearly everyone has real depth, and the author's appreciation for history and its reverberations adds further complexity."
--Publishers Weekly

"The story is complex, intricate, and populated by a cast that would have made Cecil B. DeMille proud.--St. Petersburg Times

"[A] fantastic read…perfectly blending heart-stopping suspense with poignant emotions, Hall succeeds in putting forth a flawless tale of exquisite thrills…this is one tale to be savored."

Reviews from Goodreads



  • James W. Hall

  • JAMES W. HALL lives with his wife, Evelyn, and his dogs, Carrie and Stella, dividing his time between south Florida and North Carolina.
  • James W. Hall Photo: Maggie Evans Silverstein
    James W. Hall


Available Formats and Book Details

Forests of the Night

A Novel

Thorn Mysteries

James W. Hall



St. Martin's Paperbacks