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The Hush
2018
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Ten years after the disappearance of his twin sister, an event that transformed his life and hometown, Johnny Merrimon struggles to avoid notoriety by moving into the wilderness, a decision that his longtime friend, Jack, fears is subjecting Johnny to malevolent forces. - (Baker & Taylor)

"A new novel from John Hart"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

A tale set in the world of The Last Child finds Johnny Merrimon struggling to avoid notoriety by moving into the wilderness 10 years after the events that transformed his life and hometown, a decision that his longtime friend, Jack, fears is subjecting Johnny to malevolent forces. - (Baker & Taylor)

The only writer in history to win consecutive Edgar Awards for Best Novel, New York Times bestselling author John Hart returns to the world of his most beloved novel, The Last Child

Building on the world first seen in The Last Child (“A magnificent creation” —The Washington Post), John Hart delivers a stunning vision of a secret world, rarely seen.

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.

More than an exploration of friendship, persistence, and forgotten power, The Hush leaves all categories behind, and cements Hart's status as a writer of unique power.

- (McMillan Palgrave)

Author Biography

JOHN HART is the author of five New York Times bestsellers, The King of Lies, Down River, The Last Child, Iron House, and Redemption Road. The only author in history to win the Edgar Award for Best Novel consecutively, John has also won the Barry Award, the Southern Independent Bookseller’s Award for Fiction, the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award, and the North Carolina Award for Literature. His novels have been translated into thirty languages and can be found in more than seventy countries. - (McMillan Palgrave)

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Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* 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. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews

The New York Times best-selling Hart is the only author to win an 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.

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Library Journal Reviews

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

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

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