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Down River Audiobook

Down River: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

Adam Chase has spent the last five years in New York City trying to erase his worst memories and the scorn and abandonment of his family. Then a phone call from his best friend awakens in him a torrent of emotion and pain. Having left North Carolina and its red soil for good, he never thought returning would be easy, and being remembered as a murderer doesn't help much. Within this small Southern town, John Hart explores the lengths to which people will go for money, family, and pure greed - and whether or not forgiveness is ever attainable.

©2007 John Hart; (P)2007 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC

What the Critics Say

"Richly atmospheric....This book should settle once and for all the question of whether thrillers and mysteries can also be literature." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (728 )
5 star
 (255)
4 star
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3 star
 (159)
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Overall
4.0 (393 )
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Story
4.2 (399 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Pat 02-12-08
    Pat 02-12-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Great New Author"

    I hadn't read anything by John Hart before, but I'm glad I downloaded this book. His charater's personalities were strong and interesting. The interactions he wrote about couldn't have been more on. The storyline was interesting and believable. I truly enjoyed listening to this book. I am going back to read his first book and look forward to more from him.

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keren 06-18-08
    Keren 06-18-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Soap Opera"

    This book was disappointing. THe story is a soap opera w/ one dimensional characters who are emotionally and developmentally stunted. While the plot has some twists, the characters are absolutely predictable: of course they refuse to go to therapy, of course they resist legitimate pain medication, of course they drink too much (the men, of course), of course the males are emotionally bankrupt and of course the females are long-suffering and damaged. Some moments of lyrical writing - descriptions of place - have substance but the rest of the book is disappointing. Hope this author gets better.

    15 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hilary Los Angeles, CA, USA 03-20-08
    Hilary Los Angeles, CA, USA 03-20-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    63
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    "Flat Characters"

    The Good: great narration.... Despite the fact that the book cornered characters into a restricted range of behavior- the narrator made the best of it. He was truly impressive and I believe I kept listening due to his prowess.
    The Bad: this morality tale hiding behind the guise of a mystery becomes tiresome. If the concepts of forgiveness, the psychology of cutting, or the sticky web of family had ever been truly scratched I would have been satisfied; however, to speak the name and think that you have given the subject due diligence is just a shame.
    The Ugly: how many times can a girlfriend lose her cool, slap her boyfriend, say "I'm sorry, but you left me" before you begin to yawn or at least reach for fast forward OR How many times can the angry young man act like THE ANGRY YOUNG MAN before you as the reader begin to say "okay leave" or "okay kill him" or "okay, but please go see a shrink?" Listening to this book was like wading to your ankles in the shallow end.

    14 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fritz Moraga, CA, United States 09-15-10
    Fritz Moraga, CA, United States 09-15-10 Member Since 2016

    No matter where you go, there you are.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too Much Like a Soap Opera"

    I actually don't know what a soap opera is like, but I understand they are twisting, implausible fantasies that are designed to convince the housebound to purchase certain brands of laundry detergent. Vignette after vignette of startling betrayal, revelations of incest or bigamy or any number of other types of exaggerated nonsense is not my idea of "raising the genre of mystery to fine literature" as one hyperbolic reviewer was misguided enough to say.
    This book's choice as an Edgar winner has ruined the honor's credibility and certainly has Mr. Poe spinning in his grave.
    Pure tripe.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Amighi 07-06-08

    janet

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Edgar winner not my taste"

    CLassic B movie kind of story. Plotting is relatively predictable, characters stock, and language is painful: "He pressed his lips against her and she said, I hate you I hate you."
    Yet this won best novel of 08 at the Edgars awards. So clearly some people liked it.

    8 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Val 03-27-08
    Val 03-27-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Down River"

    The plot is weak; characters are shallow; dialogue is trivial; and it's tiresome to listen to. Don't waste your time!

    10 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chelsea 06-28-16
    Chelsea 06-28-16 Member Since 2015
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    Performance
    Story
    "Just blah"

    After listening to Redemption Road, I was excited to hear another John Hart story but this one was so slow. I never could get into the book, and after realizing I was 8 hours in and still didn't care where it was going, I figured it wasn't getting any better and bought a different one. Something about the narrator's voice and the plain plotline just left me feeling blah. He tries to make it thrilling, but it just wasn't enough for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Michael Dunn 05-25-16 Member Since 2013
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    "An extremely good book"

    One of the best books I've read/listened to this year. The characters are very real and the thoughtful plot is completely engrossing. A complete success from any point of view. I listened in any spare moment I had because I wanted to know what was happening. This book book won the Edgar award for a reason, because it was the best mystery of the year. I would say the best mystery of many years. Listen to this book if you love a great mystery with real character exhibiting real emotions. I cannot recommend this book more highly. Mike

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 05-13-16
    Linda 05-13-16

    cooking enthusiast

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just plain bad"
    Any additional comments?

    I forced myself to finish this book although I really, really dislike it.
    The narration was particularly poor and the writing was not to my liking either.
    I had planned to purchase 'Redemption Road' but after this one I have changed my mind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    spucky85 03-26-16
    spucky85 03-26-16 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    "Great novel! Highly recommended!"

    very well written story and well developed characters including Adam Chase, his father Jacob, friends half-siblings and lover. This story draws you in quickly and keeps you wanting to see Adam's story unfold. I listened ed to this on Audible while walking my dogs and commuting. It was a great listen!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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