An old man is dying. When the old man is dead, they will come for him. And they will come for her, to make him hurt.
John Hart has written three New York Times best sellers and won an unprecedented two back-to-back Edgar Awards. His books have been called “masterful” (Jeffery Deaver) and “gripping” (People) with “Grisham-style intrigue and Turow-style brooding” (The New York Times). Now he delivers his fourth novel—a gut-wrenching, heart-stopping thriller no listener will soon forget.
He would go to Hell....
At the Iron Mountain Home for Boys, there was nothing but time. Time to burn and time to kill, time for two young orphans to learn that life isn’t won without a fight. Julian survives only because his older brother, Michael, is fearless and fiercely protective. When tensions boil over and a boy is brutally killed, there is only one sacrifice left for Michael to make: He flees the orphanage and takes the blame with him.
To keep her safe....
For two decades, Michael has been an enforcer in New York’s world of organized crime, a prince of the streets so widely feared he rarely has to kill anymore. But the life he’s fought to build unravels when he meets Elena, a beautiful innocent who teaches him the meaning and power of love. He wants a fresh start with her, the chance to start a family like the one he and Julian never had. But someone else is holding the strings. And escape is not that easy.
Go to Hell and come back burning....
The mob boss who gave Michael his blessing to begin anew is dying, and his son is intent on making Michael pay for his betrayal. Determined to protect the ones he loves, Michael spirits Elena—who knows nothing of his past crimes, or the peril he’s laid at her door— back to North Carolina, to the place he was born and the brother he lost so long ago. There, he will encounter a whole new level of danger, a thicket of deceit and violence that leads inexorably to the one place he’s been running from his whole life: Iron House.
©2011 John Hart (P)2011 Macmillan Audio
John Hart has quickly risen in the ranks of authors I enjoy, partly because I think he writes better endings than most authors. For example, while I usually cannot put a John Grisham book down, I am rarely satisfied by the ending. John Hart, on the other hand, has succeeded in his early books of bringing the stories of his book to a closure that makes me feel like he has honored the time I invested in reading his book.
This book is no exception, although slightly less so than his earlier books. I have graded the story a "4" however, not for that, but for the excessive gruesomeness of parts of the book. Early in the book, before you have a clue as to what the story is about, there is a spate of violence that tempts anyone not committed to reading the book to putting it down, assuming it is a book about violence rather than a story about family. Once one is past that violence, the story is set up, and it moves quite nicely for most of the rest of the book. However, the barn scene later in the book is one of the truly horrid descriptions of torture and pain, and I would have loved to be able to avoid or skip through that scene. That is tough to do when listening, but perhaps possible when reading.
So, with that caveat, another solid effort from Hart.
Reader And Listener
The story, the reader both have issues but I had no trouble finishing the book. I waited for this one and was a little bit disappointed after the past two but it would be hard to live up to them.
I did not discover John Hart until last year. Once I did, I was hooked. I listened to every Hart book ever recorded back-to-back and then began a year long vigil in anticipation of Iron House. I realize now that it was Hart's incredibly insightful characterizations that had me enthralled. About a third of the way through Iron House, I reluctantly admitted to myself that I was disappointed. I wasn't staying up half the night listening... unable to turn it off. But... I kept listening. Turning a hit man (and his friends/family) into loveable characters worthy of a readers emotional investment is no easy task. I am glad I stuck with the story. By about half way through, Hart had me once again. In the end, I actually had tears streaming down my face (an extreme rarity for me) and was swept away by what I can only describe as a bittersweet close. As with all his books, the plot was fresh, imaginative and convoluted. The end? Never saw it coming. Scott Sowers did a great job. He sounds like a North Carolinian to me. As a former professional voice talent from NC, I am sensitive to these things. I highly recommend this book... you just have to be a little patient. You will be glad you did!
Each of Hart's books is different and well done. I live close to his hometown and that is why I read his first novel. After that one, I came back for the excellent writing, tight plots and characters who are hard to forget.
A huge disappointment! I have loved past Hart books. I kept listening to this one only because I was driving from Massachusetts to Florida! I was glad when it ended... I was finally home!!!
I'm surprised by the negative reviews on this. The author isn't the greatest especially with Elena but I think the story in engrossing thus far. I loved, loved, loved Last Child and am trying to catch up on all of John Hart's books. This is my second, Down River is next.
I almost didn't purchase this book because of some of the negative reviews, however I'm so glad I decided to go for it. I LOVED IT! Everytime I turned it off I thought about it and couldn't wait to get back to the story. I didn't find any down points and it kept my attention the WHOLE time. This is this first time I've taken the time to write a review because I wanted people not to skip over this based on other's low reviews.
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