Adam Chase 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 hes 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 hes 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 Adams 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 hes 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.
t's rare that one would want to read a mystery again, but once the motives are revealed, it sheds new light on all the characters' previous behaviors. In spite of some repetitive self-reflection on Adam's part, Down River is a book that warrants reading at least once and perhaps once again for the skillful plot and descriptive language. (Reviewed by Vy Armour).
New York Times - Janet Maslin
By the end of Down River, the evil secrets abound. Virtually everyone in the book has something to hide. And Mr. Hart's vigorous plotting sustains its fever pitch, though this would have been a better book with even one calm, reasonable figure in its midst. Or one who sounded less dated. Grace is the so-called kid in the book, and yet even she speaks like a 1940s B-movie denizen. I've loved you my whole life," she tells Adam. "All I needed was the courage to tell you. Well, I'm not scared anymore. I'm not scared of anything." That’s stale even by Rowan County standards.
Entertainment Weekly - Missy Schwartz
Hart paints a vivid picture of the kind of farm country where men communicate in punches and everyone has a dirty little secret. If only his style were a few degrees less ham-fisted. B.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel - Oline H. Cogdill
In Down River, Hart surpasses his debut. While he revisits themes in The King of Lies, Hart breaks from the legal thriller in Down River. The only lawyer who makes an appearance is the family's long-time retainer.
A sizable supporting cast of offbeat characters thicken the atmosphere and mystery....but its juicy melodrama often slides into pretentiousness.
Starred Review. Hart surpasses his bestselling debut, The King of Lies (2006), with his richly atmospheric second novel, which offers a tighter plot, more adroit pacing and less angst.
Booklist - David Pitt
Starred Review. Hart dexterously juggles a large cast of characters and several intricate plotlines, and when he starts to tie together the threads of the various stories—well, that's when the real magic begins. A truly splendid novel with a deep emotional core.
Complex relationships blur the lines between friend and foe, heightening the suspense in this intricate, haunting story of a family in crisis, and the writing is simply superb.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Elizabeth Suspensful Mystery, Suspense, Murder.....loved this book....lots of surprises at the end. :)
Adam Chase returns to North Carolina after five years and his acquittal of murder.
Little does he know that his troubles haven't disappeared and the mysteries... Read More
Rated of 5
by Lynn Great read!! I loved this book. I couldn't wait to read it after enjoying John Hart's first book, "The King of Lies" so much. I read lots of mysteries, and I rarely am still stumped before the story is revealed. Both of these books kept me in suspense and... Read More
Rated of 5
by Grace Down River - Audio CD Scott Sowers' superb narration makes John Hart's skillful plot, loaded with complex characters, come alive in this not-to-be-missed novel.
John Hart was born in
Durham, North Carolina, the son
of a surgeon and French teacher.
His family later moved to Rowan
County, the setting for his
first novel, King of Lies,
and his second novel, Down
River. His favorite memory
of childhood is a five-hundred
acre farm that has since fallen
to the sweeping tide of
development. Hence his current
passion to protect North
Carolina's open spaces.
Hart earned graduate degrees in
law and accounting, but his
desire to write well and be
published led him to "chase the
dream". He spent the better part
of a year in a carrel at the
Rowan County Public Library
writing King of Lies,
which resulted in three
nominations for Best First
Novel: The Anthony Award, the...
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