Sunday, October 7, 2007

Down River by John Hart

Down River by John Hart

Published: 10/07

I know it's been awhile since I've posted a new review. Chalk it up to laziness. Not that I haven't read anything worth reviewing. Actually there's been a few, Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis, and a few others have been great books, worth blogging about. I've just been lazy.

But Down River is one of the best books I've read all year. It is a thriller indicative of early John Grisham, (and by early, I mean A Time To Kill early). It grabs you, sucks you in & only finally lets you go at the end.

Down River is a story about family dysfunction, secrets buried deep, and what some people will do to keep those secrets buried.

The story follows Adam Chase as he returns home to Rowan County, North Carolina after five years gone. Five years ago, Chase was accused of murder. The community turned on him, even his stepmother testified against him. And this caused Chase's father to also turn on him. Chase was eventually found innocent, but the damage had been done. Having been shunned by his family, and most of his friends, he takes off for New York.

Until one day he gets a call from an old friend asking him to come home. Chase reluctantly does so, and within minutes of being back, he finds himself wrapped up in new trouble that's been brewing while he was gone.

Chase finds out that a power company wants to buy a good chunk of land in the community to build a nuclear power plant. The deal would make a lot of people in the county very rich. But Chase's father is refusing to sell. And since he holds the biggest chunk of land, the deal hinges upon him.

Also living on Chase's family farm is Dolf, a longtime farmhand & friend to Chase's father, and his Granddaughter, Grace. Minutes after seeing Chase for the first time in five years, Grace is brutally attacked. And naturally with his past, blame starts to fall on Chase.

And to tell you anymore would give it away. But needless to stay, in the grand traditions of good thrillers, a few bodies show up & secrets are revealed.

Down River is a really good read, and my only complaint is that I tore through it too fast. But that's a testament to the book, not bad thing at all.
This was Hart's second book & needless to say, it won't be long till I track down his first book King of Lies!