Author: John Hart

JOHN HART is the author of six New York Times bestsellers, and of THE UNWILLING, which will be released on February 2, 2021. The only author in history to win the best novel Edgar Award for consecutive novels, Hart has also won the Barry Award, the Southern Independent Bookseller’s Award for Fiction, the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award and the North Carolina Award for Literature. His novels have been translated into thirty language and can be found in over seventy countries. “My only real dream,” John declares, “has been to write well and to be published well.”

He lives in Virginia with his wife, two daughters, and four dogs.

Photo courtesy of Author’s Website.

#BookReview The Unwilling by John Hart @StMartinsPress #TheUnwilling #JohnHart

#BookReview The Unwilling by John Hart @StMartinsPress #TheUnwilling #JohnHart Title: The Unwilling

Author: John Hart

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Feb. 2, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 409

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Set in the South at the height of the Vietnam War, The Unwilling combines crime, suspense and searing glimpses into the human mind and soul in New York Times bestselling author John Hart’s singular style.

Gibby’s older brothers have already been to war. One died there. The other came back misunderstood and hard, a decorated killer now freshly released from a three-year stint in prison.

Jason won’t speak of the war or of his time behind bars, but he wants a relationship with the younger brother he hasn’t known for years. Determined to make that connection, he coaxes Gibby into a day at the lake: long hours of sunshine and whisky and older women.

But the day turns ugly when the four encounter a prison transfer bus on a stretch of empty road. Beautiful but drunk, one of the women taunts the prisoners, leading to a riot on the bus. The woman finds it funny in the moment, but is savagely murdered soon after.

Given his violent history, suspicion turns first to Jason; but when the second woman is kidnapped, the police suspect Gibby, too. Determined to prove Jason innocent, Gibby must avoid the cops and dive deep into his brother’s hidden life, a dark world of heroin, guns and outlaw motorcycle gangs.

What he discovers there is a truth more bleak than he could have imagined: not just the identity of the killer and the reasons for Tyra’s murder, but the forces that shaped his brother in Vietnam, the reason he was framed, and why the most dangerous man alive wants him back in prison.

This is crime fiction at its most raw, an exploration of family and the past, of prison and war and the indelible marks they leave.


Review:

Frightful, atmospheric, and spine-chilling!

The Unwilling is an engrossing, gritty novel that transports you to Charleston, South Carolina, during 1972 when the Vietnam War is still being waged and Detective Bill French, unfortunately, finds himself mixed up in a complex investigation involving a heinous killer with a penchant for sadism, and a young murder victim that seems to have known both his teenage son, Gibby and his delinquent, adult son, Jason a little too well.

The prose is meticulous and crisp. The characters are raw, scarred, and maudlin. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine effortlessly into an ominous tale filled with mixed emotions, manipulation, deceit, corruption, grief, violence, and murder.

I have to admit that I have been a huge fan of John Hart since 2006 when he published his debut novel, The King of Lies. And even though I didn’t love The Unwilling as much as some of his older ones, it is still an intricate, sinister, well-written whodunit filled with an abundance of deeply flawed characters that I thoroughly enjoyed.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About John Hart

JOHN HART is the author of six New York Times bestsellers, and of THE UNWILLING, which will be released on February 2, 2021. The only author in history to win the best novel Edgar Award for consecutive novels, Hart has also won the Barry Award, the Southern Independent Bookseller’s Award for Fiction, the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award and the North Carolina Award for Literature. His novels have been translated into thirty language and can be found in over seventy countries. “My only real dream,” John declares, “has been to write well and to be published well.”

He lives in Virginia with his wife, two daughters, and four dogs.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Hush by John Hart @JohnHartAuthor @StMartinsPress

#BookReview The Hush by John Hart @JohnHartAuthor @StMartinsPress Title: The Hush

Author: John Hart

Series: Johnny Merrimon #2

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Feb. 27, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 432

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 6.5/10

The only writer in history to win consecutive Edgar Awards for Best Novel, New York Times bestselling author John Hart returns to the world of his most beloved novel, The Last Child

Building on the world first seen in The Last Child (“A magnificent creation” —The Washington Post), John Hart delivers a stunning vision of a secret world, rarely seen.

It’s been ten years since the events that changed Johnny Merrimon’s life and rocked his hometown to the core. Since then, Johnny has fought to maintain his privacy, but books have been written of his exploits; the fascination remains. Living alone on six thousand acres of once-sacred land, Johnny’s only connection to normal life is his old friend, Jack. They’re not boys anymore, but the bonds remain. What they shared. What they lost.

But Jack sees danger in the wild places Johnny calls home; he senses darkness and hunger, an intractable intent. Johnny will discuss none of it, but there are the things he knows, the things he can do. A lesser friend might accept such abilities as a gift, but Jack has felt what moves in the swamp: the cold of it, the unspeakable fear.

More than an exploration of friendship, persistence, and forgotten power, The Hush leaves all categories behind, and cements Hart’s status as a writer of unique power.


Review:

Dark, haunting, and unpredictable!

The Hush takes us back to into the lives of Johnny Merrimon and Jack Cross 10 years after we first met them in The Last Child as they face a journey of survival against resentment, jealousy, legal woes, the wilderness, and the unsettled skeletons and secrets of the past.

The writing is gloomy and exceptional descriptive. The characters are steadfast, scarred, and lonely. And the plot, which seems to be heading towards a legal thriller in the first half of the novel quickly veers into a story of tortured spirits, dark magic, and supernatural phenomenon.

I have to say that die-hard fans of John Hart may be a little disappointed in this latest outing which doesn’t leave you on the edge-of-your-seat or delve into the complex nature of the human psyche as we’ve come to associate with his novels. There’s no question that Hart is an incredibly evocative writer, and although The Hush really didn’t work for me if you can approach it with an open mind and enjoy stories steeped in magical realism you may just love it.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                          

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About John Hart

JOHN HART is the author of six New York Times bestsellers, and of THE UNWILLING, which will be released on February 2, 2021. The only author in history to win the best novel Edgar Award for consecutive novels, Hart has also won the Barry Award, the Southern Independent Bookseller’s Award for Fiction, the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award and the North Carolina Award for Literature. His novels have been translated into thirty language and can be found in over seventy countries. “My only real dream,” John declares, “has been to write well and to be published well.”

He lives in Virginia with his wife, two daughters, and four dogs.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

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