Down River

Down River

Book - 2007 | 1st ed.
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Down River is the winner of the 2008 Edgar Award for Best Novel.

Everything that shaped him happened near that river….

Now its banks are filled with lies and greed, shame, and murder….

John Hart's debut, The King of Lies , was compelling and lyrical, with Janet Maslin of The New York Times  declaring, "There hasn't been a thriller as showily literate since Scott Turow came along."  Now, in Down River, Hart makes a scorching return to Rowan County, where he drives his characters to the edge, explores the dark side of human nature, and questions the fundamental power of forgiveness.

Adam hase has a violent streak, and not without reason. As a boy, he saw things that no child should see, suffered wounds that cut to the core and scarred thin. The trauma left him passionate and misunderstood---a fighter. After being narrowly acquitted of a murder charge, Adam is hounded out of the only home he's ever known, exiled for a sin he did not commit. For five long years he disappears, fades into the faceless gray of New York City. Now he's back and nobody knows why, not his family or the cops, not the enemies he left behind.

But Adam has his reasons.

Within hours of his return, he is beaten and accosted, confronted by his family and the women he still holds dear. No one knows what to make of Adam's return, but when bodies start turning up, the small town rises against him and Adam again finds himself embroiled in the fight of his life, not just to prove his own innocence, but to reclaim the only life he's ever wanted.

Bestselling author John Hart holds nothing back as he strips his characters bare.  Secrets explode, emotions tear, and more than one person crosses the brink into deadly behavior as he examines the lengths to which people will go for money, family, and revenge.

A powerful, heart-pounding thriller, Down River will haunt your thoughts long after the last page is turned.

Praise for John Hart and The King of Lies

"Treat yourself to something new and truly out of the ordinary."

--- Rocky Mountain News

"A top-notch debut. Hart's prose is like Raymond Chandler's, angular and hard."

-- Entertainment Weekly (grade A)

"A gripping performance."

--- People magazine

"A marriage of carefully crafted prose alongside have-to-keep-reading suspense."

--- The Denver Post

"A masterful piece of writing."

--- The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)

"A gripping mystery/thriller and a fully fleshed, thoughtful work of literature."

--- Winston-Salem Journal

" The King of Lies moves and reads like a book on fire."

---Pat Conroy

"John Hart's debut . . .  is that most engrossing of rarities, a well-plotted mystery novel that is written in a beautifully poetic style."

---Mark Childress, author of Crazy in Alabama

"Grisham-style intrigue and Turow-style brooding."

---The New York Times

 

Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Minotaur, 2007.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780312359317
0312359314
Branch Call Number: HART
Characteristics: ix, 325 p.

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n
nancy180
Oct 17, 2014

Some flashes of William Lashner, READ this book. All of John's books will keep you up all night so read on the weekend.

s
spt24
Dec 12, 2012

two time edgar award winner John Hart wrote an amazing book, do yourself a favor and read it.

BookEnthusiast Sep 21, 2011

A different genre for me, but I liked the intrigue and tempo. It kept me interested and up late at night trying to finish.

d
DeltaQueen50
Jul 07, 2011

If you are looking for a strong, plot-driven mystery with lush descriptive phrases set in a moody southern atmosphere, chock full of family secrets, revenge, and loyalty, then Down River by John Hart could be the book for you.

Adam Chase returns to his Northern Carolina home some five years after being acquitted of murder and tossed from his family. His stepmother was the prosecution’s star witness. His step-brother and step-sister don’t seem all that thrilled to see him, and his father appears to want everyone to just forget what happened in the past. He returns to help a friend, but also he longs to put things right with his family again. Almost from the first minute of his return things start to go wrong, and when Adam discovers a corpse, he comes to the realization that things will never be right again until all the family secrets are revealed.

John Hart combines good story-telling with excellent character development. Each character has his own distinct identity, and the story flows smoothly. I really liked that this book didn’t end with everything wrapped up neatly. As in real life, there were some ragged ends, hurt feelings, and family obstacles to overcome. The author took his time with this story, slowly putting each piece in place, until the end, which came quickly and kept me glued to the page. All in all, a very good story.

n
nipper
May 14, 2011

great book.......murder mystery family in north carolina......enjoyed the writing, story twists......

RutHut Feb 18, 2011

recommended by Barb Sullivan

n
nhoj
Nov 15, 2010

Writes a really good mystery

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