Magic City

A Novel

Thorn Mysteries (Volume 7)


Minotaur Books

Download Image JAMES W. HALL Magic City

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A novel based on real events and newly declassified documents, Magic City is to Miami what L.A. Confidential and Chinatown were to Los Angeles.  It evokes a time in our nation’s history when powerful men were willing to do whatever they thought necessary to achieve their goals.

A simple black and white photograph taken during the 1964 Cassius Clay-Sonny Liston fight on Miami Beach may hold the key to a horrific, politically-motivated crime forty-two years earlier.  After it suddenly appears on display at a trendy Miami gallery opening, the photograph is burned in an act of arson that sets off a modern-day murder spree, reaching from the quiet neighborhoods of Miami to the back corridors of the White House. 

What the killer didn't know is that there is one remaining copy. When it falls into Thorn’s hands, he and everyone he loves become the target of madmen and trained killers, each of whom has his own powerful motive to see the photograph destroyed forever and its mysteries kept hidden.

To find retribution for the death of a loved one, Thorn joins forces with a dangerous enemy to solve a maddening puzzle. At its center are two families from very different worlds with their own dark secrets.  Unraveling this dangerous riddle shakes the foundation of his bond with both Alexandra and his closest friend, and sends him on a deadly journey. But cover-ups have a way of disintegrating over time, especially when someone like Thorn is pounding on the door.  Magic City is an epic crime thriller--exposing the past of a city in a time capsule of a novel.

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Book Excerpts

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Chapter One

“You hate Miami.”

“It’s not my favorite dot on the map,” Thorn said. “But I don’t hate it.”

They stood on the pine dock that rimmed the boat basin.

Sugarman set his new laptop on the seat of a canvas deck chair. He’d been showing off the computer, and Thorn had been trying hard to feign interest as Sugar flashed through dozens of digital photos of his twin daughters, zoomed in and out on their beautiful smiles, showing Thorn how to filter away messy backgrounds, crop off the edges.

Now Sugar took a swallow of his Bud and watched Thorn tug his red-and-white

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Praise for Magic City

Praise for Magic City:
“Hall continues to explore the ever-intriguing psychodynamics of his unconventional hero, but he also adds a new dimension to the series with the fascinating look at Miami in the 1960s... Another outstanding chapter in one of the genre’s most consistently first-rate series.”
--Booklist (starred review)
Praise for 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
"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
"Compelling, with actions 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
"Hall's Thorn novels continue to set the standard for Floridas noir, but his stand-alone thrillers are equally distinguished. [Forests of the Night] is no exception."

Reviews from Goodreads


About the Author


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

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Available Formats and Book Details

Magic City
A Novel

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Minotaur Books
March 2007
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429917070
ISBN10: 1429917075
320 pages

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Minotaur Books

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