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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

4.0 (855 )
5 star
 (336)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.1 (506 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (513 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (7)
Performance
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  •  
    Jeffery martinez, GA, USA 02-22-08
    Jeffery martinez, GA, USA 02-22-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    "Somewhat lacking"

    My difficulty was that I simply did not connect with the primary character, Adam Chase, enough to care about his situation. I appreciated how he was grappling with some of his family issues, but I never really found him overall that interesting. Nor did care too much about his predicament. Could be me. Other characters were drawn with fairly bold lines, not much nuance to any of them. I'm sure that was intentional, almost requisite for this plot to work. But again I failed to connect with any of them. So I did not feel much anticipation regarding the overall resolution of many of their conflicts. The plot was somewhat interesting but not gripping or demanding. The strength of the story was Adam's efforts at dealing with issues involving his mother and father and family. The author handles this very well and demonstrates a clear understanding of human nature and family motivations.

    11 of 16 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
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    7
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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
  •  
    Keren 06-18-08
    Keren 06-18-08 Member Since 2004
    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 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FRITZ STOOP Moraga, CA USA 09-15-10
    FRITZ STOOP Moraga, CA USA 09-15-10 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    841
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    127
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    Overall
    "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.

    9 of 15 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
  •  
    Rodney Montague 02-13-17 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Story good, dialogue stilted and unrealistic"
    What did you love best about Down River?

    I liked the story and the performance. The stilted dialogue really took me out of the environment. Obviously, John Hart is well received. Maybe I'm in the minority, but in my view, the guy just cannot write naturalistic dialogue.


    What was most disappointing about John Hart’s story?

    Characters making decisions and taking actions that are unbelievable and without logic or motive. This technique seems to be in play just to keep the reader in suspense. It didn't work for me.


    What three words best describe Scott Sowers’s voice?

    Engaging, clean, emotional... even when spouting stilted dialogue.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jmb47 11-14-16
    jmb47 11-14-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    22
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good story, narration not so much."

    I enjoyed the story, but the voice of the narrator was awful. Bad accent, terrible cadence, sounded like a 65 year old smoker with a Texas accent. Not a 28 year old North Carolina man.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin St. Paul 10-04-16
    Kevin St. Paul 10-04-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    30
    5
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    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Cliché"
    What would have made Down River better?

    So clich'e. Man returns home, gets beat up by town bully. Left girl and returned. Father in trouble, but had no idea... Blah, blah, blah. Boring, stopped in the middle of chapter 2.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    idk


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-06-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    10
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    Performance
    Story
    "Love John Hart!"

    So many twists & turns & unexpected details & surprises. Deep characters with complicated pasts. Can't wait to start the next one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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