Wild Thorn Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Wild Thorn

Harper Collins, Dec 2002, 24.95, 304 pp.
ISBN 0060197986

Charley LeBlanc comes from a rich and powerful Tidewater, Virginia family, but that doesn't mean he had an easy life. His father was a drunken abusive person so Charley left home to join the army and served in Vietnam. He was dishonorably discharged and did hard time in Leavenworth. He finally has his act together living with his lover Mildred “Blackie' Spurlock in an isolated area of Montana.
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He and Blackie return to Cliffside in Shawnee County, West Virginia to check up on Aunt Jessie Arbuckle, a woman who befriended him when many others turned their backs on him. He arrives to find Aunt Jessie dead and Esmeralda, a homeless woman who depended on the charity of Shawnee County to feed and clothe her, charged with her murder. Charley knows through the ties that bind him to Esmeralda that the wrong person is locked away and he intends to find the real perpetrator.

William Hoffman uses words to convey colorful images in the mind's eye so that the reader senses the environment that the flawed protagonist struggles to adapt to so he can have a peaceful life. Charley is an anti-hero who makes very serious mistakes but is likable because of the tenderness he shows to those few people that he cares about. The story line is beautiful in its simplicity but the author writes about complex people who are put in difficult situations and that makes this novel a fabulous read.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Wild Thorn

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings of fear/loss/inadequacy Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   small businessman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Deep South

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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William Hoffman Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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