Down River is the winner of the 2008 Edgar Award for Best Novel.
Everything that shaped him happened near that river....
Now its banks are filled with lies and greed, shame, and murder....
John Hart's debut, The King of Lies, was compelling and lyrical, with Janet Maslin of The New York Times declaring, "There hasn't been a thriller as showily literate since Scott Turow came along." Now, in Down River, Hart makes a scorching return to Rowan County, where he drives his characters to the edge, explores the dark side of human nature, and questions the fundamental power of forgiveness.
Adam hase 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 he's 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 he's 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 Adam's 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 he's 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.
Praise for John Hart and The King of Lies
"Treat yourself to something new and truly out of the ordinary."
---Rocky Mountain News
"A top-notch debut. Hart's prose is like Raymond Chandler's, angular and hard."
--Entertainment Weekly (grade A)
"A gripping performance."
"A marriage of carefully crafted prose alongside have-to-keep-reading suspense."
---The Denver Post
"A masterful piece of writing."
---The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)
"A gripping mystery/thriller and a fully fleshed, thoughtful work of literature."
"The King of Lies moves and reads like a book on fire."
"John Hart's debut . . . is that most engrossing of rarities, a well-plotted mystery novel that is written in a beautifully poetic style."
---Mark Childress, author of Crazy in Alabama
"Grisham-style intrigue and Turow-style brooding."
---The New York Times
Now with an excerpt from John Hart's next book The Hush, available in February 2018.
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. Five years earlier, Adam Chase was arrested for murder, largely on the basis of his stepmother's sworn testimony against him. He was acquitted, but nearly everyone, including his father, still thinks he did it, and Adam's deep bitterness has kept him away from home ever since. Now, at the request of a childhood friend, he's back in Salisbury, N.C., where all the old demons still reside and new troubles await. The almost Shakespearean snarl of family ties is complicated by a very modern struggle between economic progress and love for the land, between haves and have-nots. Throughout, Hart expertly weaves his main theme: that by their freedom of choice, humans are capable of betrayal but also of forgiveness and redemption. This book should settle once and for all the question of whether thrillers and mysteries can also be literature. 150,000 first printing; 15-city author tour.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great story, great storyteller!
I loved this book. The author did a great job creating a mystery that kept me changing my mind about who was guilty.
Hart's text is almost poetry. It is unusual to find characters that are easy to keep up with, a plot that is so engaging, and a writing style that is so descriptive.