Friday, April 1, 2016

John Hart Does It Again (Part 1)

John has written 4 books, not counting the new one, Redemption Road.  I liked the 1st 2 - King of Lies and Down River.  I absolutely loved the next 2 - The Last Child and Iron House. If you want to know how much I loved these books, just look at my Fiction for the Non-Fiction Reader, Volume II from 2/18/12.  Both of them are on that list.

As for the new one, it comes out on May 3 - just slightly over a month away (in case you don't have access to a calendar).  And due to some good fortune (and a fair amount of begging), I was able to get my hands on an ARC. In this case, John, who actually responds to his followers on Facebook, made it happen.  I "asked" him if he could get me an ARC, and it was in my hands a week later.  Of course I gave him that "I have a million people reading my blog every day" line.  I think he fell for it! Regardless, I finished it today and couldn't wait to start my review.  I think it's important in this case to have a blurb.  Voila:


A boy with a gun waits for the man who killed his mother.

A troubled detective confronts her past in the aftermath of a brutal shooting.

After thirteen years in prison, a good cop walks free. But for how long?

And deep in the forest, on the altar of an abandoned church, the unthinkable has just happened…

This is a town on the brink. This is a road with no mercy.

I now have a very difficult task.  I have to figure out how to include everything I want to tell you in a single post.  Frankly, I don't think I can do it.  So I won't.  I'm going to break this sucker up into 2 posts.  Because, really, how long can I ramble on before you tune me out (don't answer that!)?  Let's get started.

First of all, I was struck by how many central characters there are.  Even though Liz is the main protagonist, John has a number of others who speak in the 1st person.  Here they are:

1.  Liz - police officer for 13 years, under investigation for murder
2.  Charlie Beckett - Liz's partner for 4 years and still showing his support for her.
3.  Adrian Wall - police officer who just finished a 13-year prison sentence for murder
4.  Channing Shore - 18-year old girl who survived a harrowing experience
5.  Gideon Strange - 14-year old boy who seeks revenge against the killer of his mother
6.  The Serial Killer (who shall be nameless)

On top of that, there are a bunch of significant supporting players:

1.  Liz's father - a well-respected reverend in town
2.  The prison warden who is (a lot) more than he appears to be
3.  Faircloth Jones, an 89-year old superstar attorney who went into seclusion when he couldn't successfully defend Adrian Wall 13 years earlier.
4.  The warden's 4 prison guards/henchmen
5.  Channing's father, a very wealthy townsman who is trying to protect his daughter in his own way.
6.  James Randolph, police officer who has a connection with Liz

In part 2 of this post, I will give you a bunch of my observations about the writing and my emotional connections to the characters.  I will also tell you now that I was completely taken by surprise - TWICE - by what happens toward the end.  Didn't I just say the same thing about Coben's Fool Me Once?  All of these authors seem to be going out of their way to trick me!

See you again in a couple of days.


  1. I listened to and loved Iron House. The Last Child is sitting on the stacks. Glad this was a great read and there were a couple of surprising twists (love those).

  2. You need to get to The Last Child as soon as possible. You will love it as much as you loved Iron House.