Iron House Paperback – 23 Jun 2011
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'Hart maintains a propulsive momentum, blending tension with outbreaks of deftly executed violence to give the tale both pace and punch, but what marks Hart out from his peers is his facility for a kind of hardboiled poetry. While Iron House is ostensibly a novel about the travails of a former and unrepentant killer, Hart is an author who combines power and depth as he shines a light into the darker recesses of the human psyche' (Irish Times)
'One of the outstanding thriller-writers of our time, and this his fourth book, underlines that fact. It is, quite simply, breathtaking with a sweep and intensity that mark it out. Heart-stopping action, superb characterisation . . . this is my thriller of the summer' (Daily Mail)
'John Hart writes with a spare clean prose style, a sharp ear for dialogue and a feel for intricacies of plot' (The Times)
Powerfully resonant (Daily Telegraph)
A fantastic and enthralling read - you will be unable to put it down (Crimesquad)
A magnificent storyteller, Hart draws the reader in with a wonderful narrative. Iron House is one of those books that will, without doubt, leave you wanting more (Milo's Rambles)
An entertaining read with a terrific central character at its heart. Recommended. (Bookbag)
His most ambitious book to date . . . riveting. Congratulations - another challenging and exciting read. (Deadly Pleasure)
'As soon as Hart revs up to the next gear, he's on full throttle until the earth-shattering finale' (Press Association)
Praise for John Hart:
'The Last Child is a rare accomplishment - a compelling thriller written with a masterful, literary touch. You'll feel this story as much in your heart as in your gut'(Jeffery Deaver)
'Just once in a while a thriller comes along that makes you want to run out in the street and proclaim how good it is. John Hart's third novel is one of those. Written with power, precision and an iron grip on character it makes him out as one of the outstanding talents of his generation . . . it grips you by the throat and never lets go' (Daily Mail)
'A really classy thriller . . . the solution had me blinking with surprise and admiration' (Guardian)
'Smart and swift-moving . . . Hart knows his way round the courtrooms and jailhouses . . . the way that Grisham and Turow do' (Pat Conroy)
The most compelling novel to date from international bestselling author John HartSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The younger brother is adopted by a very wealthy set of parents, the other is also 'adopted' by a ruthless crime boss and becomes his hitman and surrogate son, privy to the man's well guarded secrets. When the boss dies, this elder brother, Michael, becomes the target for disposal with immediate effect.
But the story is more about the search for the younger brother by Michael which then brings with it more mayhem as the adoptive parents are certainly not what we first thought. The manner in which the author weaves the story around two supposedly alternative lives and brings them together with each passing page, leaves the reader wondering just who is related to whom and why.
There is plenty of action for crime thriller fans but there is rather too much along the lines of "I'm going with you, no you're not, yes, I am, okay alright then but keep behind me" which rather spoils the flow. If you can guess the rationale behind all the people involved then you're very good at picking up the clues. I didn't, so the resolution was certainly rewarding if a little wondrous.
John Hart is most definitely a good storyteller so I'll look out for the next book he pens with anticipation.
Iron House begins well - it has mystery, love and suspense. An over arching sense of impending doom follows the story of Michael and Elena. She is an interesting love interest and underpins his motivations well. The reveal of his past and the Iron House is neatley played - so to the introduction of the main support cast, all well delivered and sensibly written characters. With the possible exception of Stevan - we are left to assume too much about him and maybe we needed to read a little more of his personality. However, after the first 15 or so chapters the book grinds to something of a halt - as the intricacies of the story are developed sadly the pace drops to a crawl - adding in alot of driving and chatting didn't make up for it. The middle third is the books problem, as Elena makes way for another strong female charatcer so the relationships all change - it's like being back at square one, I wasn't really convince by the "investigation" element as it seemed a little too hackneyed way of getting to the truth. The book then sprngs back to life for the final 3rd, though the action climax is a smidge of an anti-climax in places.I'd liked to have seen a little more of the great Michael in action.
It's an interesting and well produced book, which drags in the middle. The subtext of mother's and sons, nature vs nurture is not over played, but neither is it subtle. Overall the it had enough to keep me and most readers going but given the intricacies the twist and 'reveal' wasn't enough to truly drop the jaw. I shall read more from Hart, his accomplished style and character development are worthy of further investment.
The plot revolves around Michael; he works as an enforcer for a shadowy mob figure. He was taken in by him as a youth and his mentor is on his death bed. Michael has met and fallen in love with a beautiful Spanish woman called Elena; he loves her and wants out from his past life of crime, violence and death. She is pregnant with his child, she is happy and she does not know a thing about the real man she loves. She has no idea what grief his past is going to bring crashing into her present - this is not a plot spoiler, but a stage setter.
Now the snag, the crime empire have decided that Michael is not allowed to leave, to love any other than `the family' is a gross breach of trust, and without their trust you are a liability, and liabilities get dealt with in an uncompromising fashion. They will hold off until the `old man' dies, and he is very close to death, Michael harbours a forlorn hope that they will relent and let him go and he can finally live the life he has always dreamt of.
There is more in that there is also the story of two small boys left by a river bank to die of the cold and elements.Read more ›
John Hart has outdone himself with this latest narrative of family loyalty, love, courage and loss that hooks the reader from the very first page. Masterfully composed, this is a tale of survival and revenge that threatens one mans sanity and freedom, another's life, and places a thirds political future on the line while the quest for huge sums of money drives some of the players to commit unspeakable acts of brutality. The body count continues to mount as one brother searches for the other in a race against time, the mob and the authorities.
More than just a suspense thriller, this is a multi-layered story with plenty of angles and enough bends in the road to obscure what lies ahead. By the time you are 75 pages into this book you will be enmeshed in the life of the protagonist who, while flawed, still has you cheering him on in his quest.
Reminiscent in some ways of BROTHERHOOD OF THE ROSE and definitely not in the literary masterpiece category IRON HOUSE does possess a vivid and atmospheric literary style with divergent plot lines neatly knitted together to give the audience a memorable reading experience. 3 1/2 stars
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very well constructed book, lots of exciting twists and turns, however the torture in the latter half of the story I felt was totally unnecessary. Read more
Fantastic story. I love John Harts descriptive writing in all his books. He brings everything to life, his characters are original.Published 3 months ago by Karen
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Well written good "on the edge of your seat" plot. Would recommendPublished 4 months ago by Chris Adams
Good read with an unexpected twist at the end. Not as gripping as I was expecting but still worth a read.Published 4 months ago by Gem
Yes I was hooked by the first chapter ! It has a compelling narrative and a rich plot line . A strong central character in Michael who has been a survivor and protector to his... Read morePublished 8 months ago by C. Campbell
Iron House, (2012), by North Carolina author and former criminal defense attorney John Hart. This thriller follows on the heels of the New York Times bestselling crime novels THE... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Stephanie De Pue
John Hart is a new name to me. This is his fourth thriller, and the critics have heaped praise on him. Well-deserved praise. Read morePublished 11 months ago by David Gee