The Hush

The HushThe Hush by John Hart
Published by St. Martin's Press on February 27th 2018
Pages: 432
ISBN: 1250012309
Buy on Amazon
four-stars

Well, that was not what I was expecting…..but I really enjoyed it. I did not read “The Last Child” and found that this book worked well as a stand-alone novel for me. Although, I was not privy to the events of that book prior to reading this one, I felt the Author did a good job describing how close Johnny and Jack were and have been since childhood. How each feels a closeness and kinship with the other. Of course, there were references to events in the past, but I don’t feel that not having knowledge of them affected my enjoyment of this book in any way.

Johnny Merrimon lives in a Cabin on the six thousand acres of land that he inherited from his father’s side of the family. Johnny’s ancestors owned the land which contained the swamp and rocky sections. A distant relative signed over the land to freed slaves and the land reverted to Johnny when the last male relative of the freed slave died. Johnny values his privacy and enjoys living off the land. One part of the land he owns is called “the Hush” and he is drawn to the Hush and seems at times to be attuned to it. He mainly comes into town for supplies and has been known to run off anyone who attempts to hunt or travel onto his land. Johnny knows this land has secrets and he is more than willing to protect those secrets even if he means keeping secrets from the people who care about him.

Jack Cross is an attorney and he enjoys attempting to sneak up on Johnny in the woods but Johnny always seems to sense him coming. Jack understands Johnny’s desire for privacy, but he has concerns about the land and his friend’s connection to it. Jack fears what he feels and what he observes of his friend’s behavior in the swamp. He worries about his friend’s safety and his mental status. Jack does not appear to feel the heaviness or other symptoms other’s feel when they step foot on Johnny’s land, but he does feel the eerie cold and senses danger.

I do not want to say much else about the plot as I don’t want to give any spoilers. What I will say is that there is a magical/paranormal vibe to this book. I was not expecting this from John Hart. There is a whole other story going on here, but I don’t want to give anything away except to say that Johnny is not the only character in the book with a connection to the land. There are others who are connected to land as well. Their stories are also told, and we see more of them as the plot unfolds.

Well written, eerie, dark and entertaining. I found this to be good story-telling. Sure, you have to suspend some disbelief, but the tale is a good one. I can see how this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it worked for me.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

four-stars

Redemption Road

Redemption RoadRedemption Road by John Hart
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on May 3rd 2016
Pages: 417
ISBN: 0312380364
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

There are good books and there are great books…and then there are books that knock your socks off. Redemption Road is one of those books. I love everything about this book. First off, this book is beautifully written. I also love how all of the subplots and main plot pints were woven into each other like a tapestry that if you keep reading you see how all the threads fit perfectly together.

After 13 torture filled years in prison, Adrian Wall has been released wearing an ill fitting suit and 5o dollars in his pocket. He has been in prison serving time for a crime he claims to have not committed. Gideon is scarred inside and out, free but not free.

Gideon Strange is a poor neglected boy with an alcoholic father. His Mother, Julia, was the woman Adrian was convicted of Murdering. He was to seek revenge for the death of his Mother. The only constant in his life is Elizabeth Black, a police officer with a tender heart for young people.

Elizabeth Black is a female police officer who has a tenuous relationship with her father. She has always believed in Adrian Wall’s innocence. She met him as a teen and has felt a kinship with him every since. She has always looked out for Gideon Strange. She is a strong flawed woman with a tender heart for young people who have been wronged because she can identify with them.

Beckett, a police officer and Elizabeth’s partner, would do anything for his wife. He looks out for Elizabeth and tries to help her but the past has a way of creeping up and tapping one on the shoulder.

The story opens as Adrian is released for prison as Elizabeth is being investigated for shooting 2 rapists. Channing, an 18 year old girl of privilege has been kidnapped and raped by two men. Elizabeth entered the home alone where she was being kept. Only the two women made it out alive. What really happened in that house in the dark. Why are Channing and Elizabeth not cooperating fully with the investigators.

Then there is a matter of another dead woman being found dead on the alter of an old church where Elizabeth’s father used to preach. Coincidence that this happened right after Adrian was released from prison.

There are so many terribly flawed damaged people in this book. I liked how his characters were multi-dimensional. His characters can be both strong and weak, soft and hard, good and bad, right and then just so wrong. They make mistakes, they use poor judgement, they do wrong things but for the right reasons. There are some really evil characters in this book but then there are some good ones as well (Crybaby Jones). I liked how his main characters were incredibly human (Elizabeth, Bennett, Adrian). Many of his characters are looking for redemption, revenge, or just to get on with their lives. I forced myself to read this slow as I tend to devour books that I love to fast. Then I get mad when they are over. I read this slow and savored every word. There were no slow parts to this book, no parts I wanted to skim through, there was nothing that deterred from the story line.

I will admit, I thought I figured out what was going on. I was WRONG! I love books that make me think and feel. This book did both. This was my first book by John Hart but it definitely will not be my last. I see myself binge reading the rest of his novels.

Highly recommend.

five-stars