Body Language by James Hall

James Hall is a most interesting person.  he was born in Kentucky, and graduated from Florida Presbyterian College 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.  He then returned to Florida to teach literature and creative writing at Florida International University for the next 36 years.

The first books he published were four books of poetry followed by a collection of short stories and a book of essays.  Since then he has published seventeen novels most of which feature an enigmatic loner named Thorn.   This book, Body Language,  is one of his Thorn series.


James Hall certainly catches the unique topographic heartbeat of Florida.

In this novel, photographer Alexandra Rafferty, is a fascinating character.  She has been wounded by a childhood rape and so is very protective of her ex-policeman father who saved her then and has now slipped into senility.  She deliberately keeps her talents and emotions in check.   Her husband drives an armoured car.  He is secretly planning the crime of the century.  The rest of the plot involves the search for a killer of young women who leaves his victims in unusual postures.

I found this an interesting, compelling novel.  However, I have to confess, this is my favourite genre and I have a great fondness for the State of Florida.  I read the book straight through and found the plot was well executed but I found many of the characters difficult to warm to.


I had worked out who the killer was fairly early but the author threw just enough red herrings in to have me questioning my choices a few times. I was right in the end!

The author seemed to go out of his way a few times to be crude.  I could have lived without that.  I did like his description.  I found I could really visualise my surroundings.   This is the first book I have read by this author, but I doubt it will be my last.  If you enjoy crime fiction, I would certainly commend this book to you.


1 Comment

  1. Reblogged this on normanjkennedy.


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