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Iron House Hardcover – July 12, 2011
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"John Hart delivers another outstanding thriller... Secrets, lies and an abandoned former orphanage beckon the reader into a web of violence and emotion. Hart creates such vivid imagery, the reader sees the story slowly unfolding in full color. Iron House immerses the reader in a world that's haunting in its tone and power." --Associated Press
"Hart 2.0: bullet-fast and super gory, everything amplified and intensified... Hart, again working in multiple voices and from a variety of perspectives, is somehow able to pull together all of the moving parts and to do the near impossible: to transform a bloody tale of murder and mayhem into something of a meditation - or, better yet, a fugue - on familial love. In so doing, he has taken a giant step forward as a writer, demonstrating yet again the impoverished imaginations of those who dismiss popular fiction and automatically relegate "genre writers" to the bargain basement of the house of literature." --Charlotte Observer
"Two orphaned boys' lives take vastly different routes in this forceful tale about family bonds and the legacy of violence set in Manhattan and North Carolina. This is Hart's fourth novel, having already earned three Edgar Award nominations, resulting in two back-to-back wins." --South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"The book combines suspense, a love story and plenty of twists and surprises. The characters are vivid, and readers can feel the tension build. Hart continues to write literate thrillers." --The Oklahoman
"It isn’t as if Hart’s career needed jump-starting. His first three stand-alone thrillers have been greeted by an ever-growing crescendo of praise, including two Edgar Awards. Definitely not the kind of writer who needs a breakthrough book. And, yet, Iron House lifts Hart to an altogether new level of excellence…. The present-time plot—disaffected Mob hit man on the run, trying to carve a new life without endangering those he loves—makes a superb thriller on its own (steadily building tension, magnificently choreographed fight scenes, including a High Noon–like finale), but it’s what Hart does with the backstory that gives the novel its beyond-genre depth. Like the great Peter Hoeg in Borderliners (1994), Hart uses the familiar story of mistreatment in an orphanage as a way into the inner lives of his characters, and the blind fear, abject confusion, and yearning for love he finds there are both heartbreaking and curiously hopeful, in an almost postapocalyptic way. An unforgettable novel from a master of popular fiction.” –Booklist, starred review
"This rich, impressive contemporary thriller from two-time Edgar-winner Hart (The Last Child) focuses on two brothers, Michael and Julian, both raised and abused at the Iron House of the title, an orphanage in the mountains of North Carolina.... Hart deftly interweaves a complex family history story with Stevan's intense, bloody quest for vengeance.... [The book's] powerful themes and its beautiful prose will delight Hart's fans--and should earn him many new ones." --Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Mr. Hart has really stepped things up a notch with Iron House...one of the most interesting and masterful pieces of suspenseful fiction that I have read.”—My Reading Room
“This is one of the best books I have read this summer! It has a little something for every reader.... Romance, politics, mystery, an unpredictable plot line , suspense and lots of murder (warning: some scenes are very graphic)… In addition to the exciting plot, this is a story about the importance of family, the scars that remain from an unstable childhood and the struggle to overcome the past.” —The Book Blurb
“Iron House is…gut wrenching, and keep[s] you on the edge of your seat while your heart is beating in your throat.”—MPL’s Book Nook
“It is rare that I give a book a five out of five rating. I feel this one deserves it. Iron House is a hard charging thriller with lots of action and suspense. But it is also an intense psychological thriller, with deep characters that are both flawed and exceptional.” —Reading with Mo
“Hart builds a larger-than-life tale of love postponed, the loyalty of brothers, the sacrifice of blood, and the madness of those inured to violence as a solution.” –CurledUp.com
“Iron House is…as much about its rich cast of layered, authentic, and damaged characters as its captivating storyline. The author ramps up the helter-skelter thriller aspects without losing any of the layers and depth he’s already become famous for.”
“Put simply, Iron House is another terrific novel from Hart – the kind of crime thriller that many who don’t usually read crime or mystery would heartily enjoy. It’s as much about its rich cast of layered, authentic, and damaged characters as its captivating storyline. Hart exhibits some style as he vividly evokes not only the ‘Southern’ setting – in all its tarnished glory – but also aspects of the broader human condition. He shows that there can be plenty of thrills without having to resort to ‘world-changing’ plotlines, by simply focusing on matters that are life-and-death, spiritually or physically, for characters in their own small world.” —Crime Watch
“Excellent storytelling skills, suspense, and flashbacks make this well worth reading. Hart has brought to life the trials of childhood, of psychological damage, and the power of love and family to overcome it all.”—Reviewing the Evidence
“Iron House, a book that many critics and Hart fans are calling his best ever…is filled with…chaotic twists and turns, and scenes that will long stick in the minds of imaginative readers.”—Book Chase
Overwhelming Praise for the National Bestselling Work of John Hart:
About the Author
Top customer reviews
He introduces Iron House by admitting that he almost didn't make it through the writing of it.
It's perfectly understandable as Mr. Hart sets an extremely high bar for himself. There are moments a reader wonders if she can "live" through it, but she does as there's simply no stopping the read.. his plots are so incredibly intricate and almost convoluted one wonders at times where he's going, but he never fails at arriving, and I particularly enjoy his final sentences; they do more than "end" the book, they deliver hope. It's important because one becomes deeply involved with his characters; he doesn't spend much time describing physical characteristics, so the reader truly absorbs the characters almost by osmosis...
Not many writers can do that; it can make for a challenging read, but this writer challenges himself..
I loved Iron House...yes there were some difficult if not horrifying moments, and long journeys for the characters, but I can only say I loved it; I recommend it; it's just freaking brilliant.
Impossible? Not the way Mr. Hart sculptures this novel and sculpture it is. Almost every character in the story is flawed in some way and not in a good way. Some are schizophrenic, some are cold blooded killers, some are weak, others have withdrawn from the world and yet others do what has to be done but yet you learn to like the characters. You understand why they are the way they are and yet you feel for them. Not any author can have you feeling compassion for their characters but Mr. Hart does an outstanding job of that in this book.
Mr. Hart keeps you on a tight rope while he weaves his story and has you wondering what will be happening next with unforeseen twists and turns. The final outcome of the story is very surprising but then it makes sense.
If you like your novels that keep you reading late into the night when you KNOW you should be asleep, then this book if for you. It doesn't get much better than this.
Great, quality read, well worth it. Can't recommend Iron House enough!