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Down River by John Hart

Down River

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Reviewed on Richard & Judy on Wednesday 16 July 2008.

Evocative, gripping and perfectly paced this crime thriller will have you engrossed whether you are on a sun lounger or on your commute to work. In a tight-knit community Adam Chase is banished for a murder he didn’t commit – but the prime witness for the defense was his stepmother. Five years later he is compelled to return but this sets in chain an unforeseen chain of events.

If you like John Hart you might also like to read books by John Grisham, Morag Joss and Raymond Chandler.


Down River by John Hart

Going back is never easy ...Adam Chase has spent the last five years in New York trying to forget. When he left North Carolina, Adam left for good. Now he has no choice but to return -- and being remembered as a murderer doesn't help.

Within hours of arriving, Adam is beaten up, accosted and has to face the hostility of those closest to him, including Grace, the young woman he cannot forget. Nothing has changed. And then people start turning up dead.

For a man only just acquitted of murder, Adam's homecoming does not go well. And he has a dark streak, a history of violence. Everyone doubts.

No one trusts him. And as the past threatens to overshadow the present, Adam becomes the prime suspect for the new murders. He alone can clear his name ...


'The 'current hot kid of American crime fiction' * TNT Magazine * 'This pacy, well-written mystery grabs you from the first page and keeps you there until the last.' **** * MX Sydney Magazine * A taut, entertaining thriller . . . there are few books published that can legitimately be called a must-read, but this is one of them * Chicago Sun-Times * Splendid . . . a beautifully constructed story of personal redemption, family secrets and murder a small-town epic, if there is such a thing * Booklist (starred review) * A novel about the power of family, how it defines and follows us, no matter how far or fast we run . . . Evocative storytelling and lush prose * Boston Globe * If you value Harper Lee, James Lee Burke, Truman Capote and Michael Malone, its time to add John Hart to your bookshelves * New York Sun * The story works both as a suspenseful whodunit and as a sensitive rumination on the emotional force of family dynamics * Washington Post * 'This is a big, warm-hearted novel' * Natasha Cooper, Crime Time * 'Hart proves here he is certainly no one-hit wonder' * Good Book Guide * 'A gripping thriller full of twists and turns' * Oldham Evening Chronicle * 'A heart-pounding thriller that explores the dark side of human nature' * Metro * 'A Chandleresque thriller' * Sunday Times * 'Hart builds the suspense of this whodunit expertly' * Douglas Wight, News of the World * Hart spins a clever mystery and keeps skilful control of his plot * Sunday Telegraph * [Hart] explores betrayal and forgiveness in indelible prose * Observer * 'I don't always agree with the Richard & Judy recommendations, but this time I am with them all the way. This book is a really classy thriller, with a plot that is complex and beguiling without being too convoluted ... Whenever I thought that I had unravelled the plot, another twist left me flummoxed, and the solution had me blinking with surprise and admiration' * Matthew Lewin, Guardian *'

About the Author

John Hart was born in North Carolina, where he lives with his wife and two young children. He has degrees in French, accounting and law, and worked as a banker, stockbrocker and attorney before beginning his writing career. His first novel, The King of Lies, was an international bestseller.

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Book Info

Publication date

16th June 2008


John Hart

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John Murray General Publishing Division


384 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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