Summary and book reviews of Redemption Road by John Hart

Redemption Road

by John Hart

Redemption Road by John Hart X
Redemption Road by John Hart
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  • First Published:
    May 2016, 432 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2017, 432 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kate Braithwaite
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About this Book

Book Summary

Over 2 million copies of his books in print. The first and only author to win back-to-back Edgars for Best Novel. Every book a New York Times bestseller. After five years, John Hart is back.

Since his debut bestseller, The King of Lies, reviewers across the country have heaped praise on John Hart, comparing his writing to that of Pat Conroy, Cormac McCarthy and Scott Turow. Each novel has taken Hart higher on the New York Times Bestseller list as his masterful writing and assured evocation of place have won readers around the world and earned history's only consecutive Edgar Awards for Best Novel with Down River and The Last Child. Now, Hart delivers his most powerful story yet.

Imagine:

A boy with a gun waits for the man who killed his mother.

A troubled detective confronts her past in the aftermath of a brutal shooting.

After thirteen years in prison, a good cop walks free as deep in the forest, on the altar of an abandoned church, a body cools in pale linen…

This is a town on the brink.

This is Redemption Road.

Brimming with tension, secrets, and betrayal, Redemption Road proves again that John Hart is a master of the literary thriller.

1

Gideon Strange opened his eyes to dark and heat and the sound of his father weeping. He held very still, though the sobbing was neither new nor unexpected. His father often ended up in the corner—huddled as if his son's bedroom were the world's last good place—and Gideon thought about asking why, after all these years, his father was still so sad and weak and broken. It would be a simple question, and if his father were any kind of man, he'd probably answer it. But Gideon knew what his father would say and so kept his head on the pillow and watched the dark corner until his father pulled himself up and crossed the room. For long minutes he stood silently, looking down; then he touched Gideon's hair and tried to whisper himself strong, saying, Please, God, please, then asking strength from his long-dead wife, so that Please, God turned into Help me, Julia.

Gideon thought it was pitiful, the helplessness and tears, the shaking, dirty fingers. Holding still...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

It should be noted that violence, sexual abuse and torture are all on display here, but despite the grim subjects, this is a novel that lives up to its title. The road to redemption for many of Hart's characters is as rocky and twisting as you would hope for in this genre, with a conclusion that is highly satisfying.   (Reviewed by Kate Braithwaite).

Full Review (476 words).

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Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Enough characters, confrontations, secrets, and subplots to fill the stage of an opera house - and leave spectators from the orchestra to the balcony moved and misty-eyed.

Library Journal
He is a skilled writer who can plumb the minds of a wide range of characters while building tension with an intricate plot and revealing backstories...accomplished achievement.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In this stellar crime thriller, Edgar-winner Hart (Iron House) explores the human capacity for resilience and trust in the face of heartbreaking betrayal... Though Hart employs plot twists effectively, it's his powerful, wounded but courageous lead whom readers will remember.

Author Blurb David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author
People in publishing have always known that John Hart can flat-out write. His prose conjures comparisons with James Lee Burke in its sultry, melodious alchemy. With Redemption Road Hart has taken it to another level. The prologue is heart-wrenching and the chapters thereafter pull you in like matter to a black hole. Read this novel. And then go back and read all of his others. He's that good.

Author Blurb Brad Meltzer, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
There's no easier way to say it: Redemption Road is simply great writing.

Author Blurb Lisa Scottoline, New York Times Bestselling Author of Corrupted
John Hart writes like a poet, and I couldn't put down this novel, an utterly riveting story of crime and its profound ripple effects on the human psyche. I have long been a fan of John Hart, but in Redemption Road, he has topped himself.

Author Blurb Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Big, bold, and impossible to put down, Redemption Road had me from page one. John Hart is a master storyteller.

Reader Reviews

Miz Judi

Redemption Road
Good escape reading!

Becky H

WOW
WOW. John Hart really knows how to write an engrossing, heart pounding, well plotted mystery…… and he can do it with a minimum of sex, blood and vulgar language. A disgraced cop, a damaged cop, a terrified girl and a bereft child all come together ...   Read More

Jane T

Interesting
Read Elizabeth George's 2005 novel "With No One As Witness". Remarkable similarities!

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Beyond the Book

The Arduous Process of Writing

John Hart took five years to produce his fifth novel, which he has said is surprising, given that his previous four books only took him approximately a year apiece to write. In the case of Redemption Road, Hart penned 300 pages, practically a whole novel, before deciding that he had chosen the wrong person to be his main character. It could not have been easy to put over a year of work to one side and start again, but Hart is definitely not the only well known author who has struggled this way.

Junot Diaz began writing his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao ten years before it was finally published. Diaz's book of short stories, Drown, was released in 1997 but his book about an immigrant family and in ...

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