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Hard Aground [Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

James Hall
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 1 1992
450 years ago a treasure  ship went down. In Miami, the heat hasn't let up  yet...Hap Tyler tailboards on Biscayne bay, hears  voices, seduces young women, and lives on the edge  of history in his family's old-money mansion amid  Miami's pastel glitz. But while Hap stumbles around  in the shadow of his more successful older  brother, Daniel, a tangled web of deception and greed is  being spun around him --a web that leads Daniel to  his death.

Trying to solve his brother's murder, Hap  collides with a 450-year-old secret: the disappearance  of $400 million in a sunken Spanish plunder.  Daniel's upscale girlfriend is close to digging up the  treasure, an avaricious senator has already tasted  it, and a stone-cold killer will stop at nothing  to bring it home. For Hap a dark and bloody vein of  Florida and family history has been opened. And  the only way to close it is through a modern ritual  of violence and truth.

From the Paperback edition.

Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Miami provides a potent setting for Hall's ( Bones of Coral ; Tropical Freeze ) expertly spun crime thriller, a dark, often funny novel with a powerful kick. The book's plot encompasses both a sunken 17th-century galleon filled with Mayan treasures and a local 19th-century homicide. On Biscayne Bay, somewhat unstable Vietnam vet Hap Tyler makes windsurfers and leads tourists through historic Mangrove House--built by his grandfather, the legendary Commodore Randolph Tyler--where he lives with his brother Daniel, an archeologist. Hours after promising to tell Hap a family secret, Daniel is found dead, apparently of a heart attack. Hap blames Daniel's lover, Marguerite Rawlings, a crusading preservationist who hopes to restore her grandmother's mill on the mid-city site where her forebear, a vehement conservationist, was murdered 100 years before. After learning that Daniel's death was also a murder, Hap and Marguerite join forces against Marguerite's mother, a corrupt U.S. senator who hungers for Mayan artifacts. Hall intertwines the Tylers' and Rawlings' pasts with evocations of rhythmic, dangerous modern Miami, whose residents include a Vietnam hero, his flashy black ex-con girlfriend and a volatile Cuban ex-cop who bulldozes his dreams of fortune in the deftly orchestrated climax. Although a few of the colorful lowlifes occasionally speak a highlife diction, Hall, in the company of Elmore Leonard, Edna Buchanan, John Lutz and Carl Hiassen, gives the Sunshine State the fictional crime stature of L.A. and New York City. BOMC and QPB featured selections; major ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Daniel Tyler, a Dade County, Florida archaeologist, knows the location of the Carmelita , a 17th-century Spanish shipwreck that went down in Florida waters while carrying $400 million worth of Mayan gold, silver, and gems. He knows, but he's not telling, even through the torture that finally costs him his life. After Daniel's murder, his brother Hap and girlfriend Marguerite team up to find the treasure, competing with some highly motivated bad guys, including Daniel's murderers. Add to this a historical subplot about one of Miami's first murders and another about a large chunk of downtown Miami that reverts back to the descendants of the original 19th-century settler. The fast pace set by the author is given a creditable treatment by reader J. Michael Lee, despite a challenging diversity of characters. Exciting and fascinating as the story is, Hard Aground is also noteworthy for conveying a convincing sense of contemporary as well as historical Miami. Highly recommended for all fiction collections.
- Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, Ia.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Literature, But Pretty Good Dec 3 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Better than most 2nd rate authors (e.g., Womack, White, etc.). Not Leonard, Hiaasen, Ellroy, etc., but not bad at all compared to the rest of the 2nd tier. Recommend it if your favorite first authors don't have anything in paperback, and I don't really say that for the others (but I read in the bathroom, so I've had extensive experience).
Better than the 2nd tier, but not 1st tier (but let's watch him).
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Hall's writing style captures the gritty essence of the redneck characters, and the plot takes readers on a tour of the raunchy side of Florida society. I don't know how much of the book's historical setting is accurate, but it sure is entertaining! The plot has multiple twists, even after you thought you had it figured out. You won't be able to put this one down.
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4.0 out of 5 stars forgettable but entertaining Dec 13 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am not much a fan of the Florida beat and have not read much of Leonard or Hiaasen. Maybe I fund them too sunny. This is the seconf Hall's bok I read, I like it better than Bone Of Coral. It is entertaining and funny at times but does not move you like a good book should.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I picked up this book on vacation at the beach, it has lead me to read the rest of his works. I highly recommend Hard Aground to anyone looking for a great read and some mental adventure.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not Aground Breaking performance July 16 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Plays out like a good Magnum P.I. episode. It has interesting characters and action.
It's a good, fun read but by no means a classic in the literary sense.
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