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  1 The Hush: A Novel
Author: Hart, John
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Class: Fiction
Age: Adult
Language: English
Demand: Hot
LC: PS3608.A

Print Run: 250000
ISBN-13: 9781250012302
LCCN: 2017036273
Imprint: Thomas Dunne Books
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pub Date: 02/27/2018
Availability: Available
List: $27.99
Physical Description: 418 pages ; 25 cm H 9.49", W 6.42", D 1.34", 1.35 lbs.
LC Series:
Brodart Sources: Brodart's Blockbuster List
Brodart's TOP Adult Titles
Bibliographies: New York Times Bestsellers List
New York Times Bestsellers: Adult Fiction
Publishers Weekly Bestsellers
Awards: Booklist Starred Reviews
Starred Reviews: Booklist
TIPS Subjects: Suspense/Thriller
Legal Fiction
BISAC Subjects: FICTION / Thrillers / General
FICTION / Thrillers / Legal
LC Subjects: FICTION / Thrillers
Friendship, Fiction
Psychological fiction
Suspense fiction
SEARS Subjects: Friendship, Fiction
Reading Programs:
Brodart's TOP Adult Titles | 11/01/2017
Publisher Annotation: It’s been ten years since the events that changed Johnny Merrimon’s life and rocked his hometown to the core. Since then, Johnny has fought to maintain his privacy, but books have been written of his exploits; the fascination remains. Living alone on six thousand acres of once-sacred land, Johnny’s only connection to normal life is his old friend, Jack. They’re not boys anymore, but the bonds remain. What they shared. What they lost. But Jack sees danger in the wild places Johnny calls home; he senses darkness and hunger, an intractable intent. Johnny will discuss none of it, but there are the things he knows, the things he can do. A lesser friend might accept such abilities as a gift, but Jack has felt what moves in the swamp: the cold of it, the unspeakable fear. 432pp., 250K
Starred Reviews:
Booklist | 01/01/2018
Hart's career continues on its ever-upward trajectory: five books, five NYT best-sellers, two Edgars, and steadily growing critical acclaim. Those first five titles were all stand-alone thrillers, but this time Hart changes directions, offering a sequel to The Last Child (2009), in which 13-year-old Johnny Merrimon tracked the pedophile who abducted his sister. It's 10 years later now, and Johnny is living off the grid, in a cabin deep in the mysterious Hush Arbor, 6,000 acres of North Carolina swamp that Johnny inherited via a slave freed by one of Johnny's ancestors. Trouble is stalking Johnny, however, both from inside the arbor, where his nightmares and blackouts are increasing, and from without, in the form of back taxes and a suit challenging his right to the property. Johnny's oldest friend, Jack Cross, now a lawyer, is attempting to defend Johnny's interests, but the prospects are dim for success. A relatively straightforward premise so far--until Hush Arbor itself emerges as the story's most powerful character, and the novel embraces the horror elements that have been clamoring for attention all along.It can be jarring when a seemingly realistic novel suddenly jumps into full supernatural mode, but Hart handles the transition seamlessly. He has always worked on the edges of southern gothic, so his genre-bending leap seems less dramatic than it might otherwise. Moreover, his vivid evocation of Hush Arbor and the ghosts it shelters, extending back to slavery, carries a Faulknerian density that makes the idea of the past coming alive deep in a swamp feel not only believable but also inevitable. Hart makes it six for six here, and behind this uncanny string of success is a rare ability to combine the most propulsive of popular fiction with beguilingly rich characters (Johnny is the black-sheep first cousin to Quentin Compson). HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The track record is enough on its own, but this time the idea of a sequel to a popular previous novel will have Hart's fans squirming in anticipation. Ott, Bill. 432p. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2018.
Journal Reviews
BookPage | 03/01/2018
It could be problematic for an author to revisit a novel after nearly a decade in order to tell the rest of the story, but John Hart plows right through those concerns with The Hush, a gripping sequel to his Edgar Award-winning novel The Last Child. Ten years have passed since the double homicide chronicled in that first book, and the now 23-year-old protagonist, Johnny Merrimon, faces the loss of the Hush, the 6,000-acre parcel of North Carolina property he inherited from his family. Part swamp, part woodland, the Hush is said to be the home of unseen things, perhaps supernatural. As rival forces begin to compete for Johnny's land, strange events begin occurring, culminating in a crucifixion. Hart deals with the supernatural in much the same way as James Lee Burke or T.Jefferson Parker--he puts it out there on display but lets the reader decide how much is real. Nonetheless, he will manage to elicit goose bumps from even the most skeptical reader. Bruce Tierney. 432p. BOOKPAGE, c2018.
Kirkus Reviews | 12/15/2017
Evil deeds from the past haunt the present in a darkly bewitched Southern swamp.Hart's ambitious, uneven, but ultimately provocative thriller initially seems set up along conventional narrative lines. In particular, the tale's opening events suggest a legal thriller centered on two characters, Johnny Merrimon and Jack Cross, returning from the author's earlier book The Last Child (2009). Now 23, Johnny faces losing the Hush, the 6,000 acre, half swamp, half dry land expanse in Raven County, North Carolina, that he'd inherited five years ago. Cree Freemantle, a young woman whose ancestors lived on the parcel for hundreds of years, is challenging his right to the property. The impecunious Johnny, who lives on his land, needs legal help he can't afford. His old friend Jack, who works at a law firm, tries but fails to arrange pro bono counsel. Wealthy William Boyd, who's offered Johnny $30 million for the land, wants Jack's firm to help him persuade Johnny to sell, offering them a lucrative deal to handle any work on the lawsuit over the land's ownership. But then Boyd is the victim of a gruesome, mysterious death in the Hush, and Johnny becomes a suspect in the case. Hart now goes after more than a story of pursuit. From the outset, his characters express a sense that the Hush is a strange place occupied by unseen, perhaps even ghostly forces. Alas, the many references to secrets and strange occurrences in the place may tire more than they intrigue the reader, who will readily agree when, near the end, a character muses that "There is no normal in the Hush. There is only story and magic." Hart links the magic of the place to fact, flashing back to vividly written depictions of the arrival of slaves in the Colonies. At the expense of characterization--Johnny, in particular, never emerges as a fully drawn protagonist, and secondary characters verge on stereotypes--Hart vigorously renders this tragic history and its aftermath as a nightmare of violent, supernatural forces.After spinning its wheels in its first half, Hart's novel becomes a chilling tale that's hard to shake. 432pg. KIRKUS MEDIA LLC, c2017.
Library Journal | 11/15/2017
A sacred plot of North Carolina woodland is the setting for a supernatural thriller in the latest from two-time Edgar Award winner Hart (Redemption Road). Johnny Merrimon is ten years removed from the shattering events of The Last Child, which killed his twin sister and tore the rest of his family apart. He has since become a prickly recluse, living in self-imposed isolation in the forbidding swampland of Hush Arbor, six thousand acres he alone knows how to traverse. His best friend Jack, now a local attorney, is his only invited guest, and others who attempt to conquer the Hush often meet inexplicably violent ends. The property has belonged to the Merrimons for centuries but is haunted by the souls of the freed slaves who once lived there, and one of the descendants believes the land is rightfully hers. Johnny and Cree Freemantle have to channel their shared past to settle their dispute, inhabiting their ancestors through phantasmagoric fever dreams and reckoning with the dark secrets the Hush has kept for 150 years. VERDICT Hart continues to deepen his palette in this ambitious sequel, which is distinctive enough in story and tone to be read as a stand-alone. Recommended for fans of Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island and Tom Franklin's Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. [See Prepub Alert, 8/28/17.]. Michael Pucci, South Orange P.L., NJ. 432p. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2017.
Library Journal Prepub Alert | 08/28/2017
Hart has five New York Times best sellers to his name, and he's the only author to win the Edgar for two consecutive novels, one of which was The Last Child. Johnny Merrimon, that novel's appealing young protagonist, returns here ten years later, seeking privacy by living in the wilds beyond the town rocked by Last Child's tragedy. He's still friends with Jack, who senses that there's danger in those rugged surrounds that Johnny knows but won't share. Another Hart-felt examination of the human psyche; with a national tour. Barbara Hoffert. 432p. LJ Prepub Alert Online Review. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2017.
Publishers Weekly | 11/20/2017
Edgar-winner Hart's sequel to 2009's The Last Child works best for readers who are already invested in Johnny Merrimon, whose twin sister, Alyssa, vanished when they were 12 almost a decade before the action begins in this volume. While newcomers will be able to pick up the threads--Johnny managed to catch the man responsible for murdering Alyssa and their father, becoming a national celebrity in the process--the heavy dose of the supernatural, which includes Johnny's Wolverine-like healing ability, takes some getting used to. Johnny is now cash-poor, despite owning thousands of acres known as Hush Arbor in North Carolina. Without money to fund an appellate defense to a suit contesting his ownership, Johnny turns to his childhood friend, attorney Jack Cross, for help. Meanwhile, terrifying and inexplicable violent acts continue on his land, including a crucifixion. Hart's prose is as evocative as ever, but fans who admire his work when it's confined to the natural world may feel that his adroit explorations of human nature aren't improved by fantastical plot elements. 250,000-copy announced first printing; author tour. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (Feb.). 432p. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2017.