Published by St. Martin's Press on February 27th 2018
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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.