The Hush

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Feb 2018

Member Reviews

North Carolina native John Hart returns with his new novel, also set in his home state, titled “The Hush.”
Hart continues the story of Johnny Merrimon, which began in “The Last Child.” It is 10 years later, and Johnny has spent most of that time living the life of a recluse, leaving his 6,000 acres of land only for short trips to town for groceries and to pay a quick visit to his mother and stepfather and buddy, Jack, now a lawyer making his way in a new firm.
There is something dark about Johnny’s land that not even he fully understands, but he feels comfortable there. It almost feels physical. Jack hates visiting Johnny there, but occasionally does so.
There are other people who want...

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5 Stars to another John Hart thriller! There's a special style to John Hart's words that make this book another sure-fire winner. Intelligent and interesting -
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I LOVE John Hart's books. I've read every one of his books, and I never know what to expect from him....with two exceptions -- page-turning action/plot and characters that are realistic and flawed and tug at your heartstrings. I was surprised to find this one venturing into the horror/supernatural genre, which is not my usual cup of tea, but I loved it!

The characters of Johnny and Jack and their connection as brothers (in spirit, not blood) are engaging and complicated. As the storyline progresses and the secrets of "The Hush" are revealed, they act logically (if not always in a conventionally wise manner) and I was rooting for both of them to have the happy ending...

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He spend the rest of the day alone. He gathered more wood, did some work on the cabin and sent to bed with little appetite. From the top of the tree, eh watched the heavens open like a flower. The moon settled, disappeared; and the stars emerged in infinite glory. He watched them long enough to feel the earth spin, and when he closed his eyes, it was all about the sound of the wind. It moved over stone and through the trees, licked off the water and carried its smell. This was the Hush, and it was his, and he didn't worry about the how of it or the why. He felt it like a tissue and bone, like blood in his veins. Drift long enough, and it was hard to tell where he ended and the Hush...

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There is no doubt that Hart has written a very compelling novel in The Hush. The quality of the writing is excellent. The setting is described picture-perfect, creating an atmospheric setting for what soon heads down the path of magic realism and a supernatural presence. It does start out rather slow, but soon events take off, violently. There is some shifting back and forth in time in the narrative as characters connect to others who lived in the past. "There is no normal in the Hush. There is only story and magic."
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There's something about Johnny Merrimon in John Hart's The Hush that sets people on edge. Perhaps it's his history, the murder of his sister, the terrible deaths that happened ten years ago in John Hart's The Last Child. Or, maybe it's because he lives a hermetic life in Hush Arbor, the mysterious swampland outside town that many people swear is haunted. Even his best friend Jack Cross thinks there is something weird about Hush Arbor and maybe even about Johnny.

Meanwhile, Johnny is trying to save Hush Arbor. It had belonged to his family before the Civil War, but his great-grandfather had given the land to the slaves he had freed. It reverted to Johnny when there...

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It has been ten years since we first met Johnny Merrimon and his best friend, Jack Cross, in The Last Child. A lot has changed in the years since Johnny wouldn't let his sister's disappearance go unsolved. Jack has become a lawyer, his mother has married Detective Clyde Hunt and Johnny is living on the 6,000 acres left for him in Hush Arbor. Over the last ten years, Johnny has gained a reputation for being a loner who doesn't take too kindly to strangers being on his land. Including the local billionaire, William Boyd. Boyd is desperate to get his hands on The Hush at any costs. Including funding a lawsuit that may cost Johnny his land, the basis of which goes back...

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It has been ten years since Johnny’s life was completely changed. He is now living in cabin in The Hush, acres of property that he has inherited from his family. The Hush has a deep dark secret that goes back hundreds of years. Mysterious things are starting to happen: Johnny knows things before they happen, he heals very easily, and has mysterious dreams. Despite all of this, Johnny likes living in seclusion and on the land. He goes into the city once a week for groceries, supplies, and visit his family.

Jack is now an attorney and working for one of the time law firms in town. He visits his friend, Johnny, every couple of weeks. He is starting to see a change in Johnny. After spending...

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Published by St. Martin's Press on February 27, 2018

The Hush is a sequel to The Last Child, which I haven’t read. As I understand it, The Last Child is a straightforward suspense novel that deals with Johnny Merrimon’s search for his missing twin sister. The Hush returns Johnny as a central character, but the novel blends suspense with horror and the supernatural. It’s kind of a haunted woods story, although the woods are swampy which makes them even more foreboding. The supernatural slant will upset readers who think a sequel should be just like the novel it follows. I admire John Hart for changing up his game (there’s not much point in writing a sequel if you’re just going to...

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I’m not sure exactly why but I just could not get into this book! I gave up after 20 percent. I’ve loved the authors previous books but this one seemed different somehow. As always, thanks for the opportunity.
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John Hart is one of the kings of US 'rural noir', a master storyteller who's never really written typical thriller novels. From when he first broke through 12 years ago with the Edgar-shortlisted debut THE KING OF LIES, Hart has offered readers an intoxicating mix of lyrical prose, richly drawn North Carolina landscapes, captivating crime storylines, and chasm-deep characters. Hart, one of only two living authors to have won two Edgar Awards for Best Crime Novel (the other being James Lee Burke), is the kind of writer compared to literary maestros as much as fellow crime bestsellers.

But even given that resume, Hart throws crime readers a couple of major-league curveballs...

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John Hart has set a high bar with “The Hush,” an intense journey through one man’s private hell. From the first page when we are re-acquainted with tree-perching Johnny Merrimon, who we first met in “The Last Child,” readers are in for a treat that involves past ghosts, present demons and future mysteries.

Johnny and his childhood friend Jack have secrets that others are dying to know. Some would give anything, including sex, to learn the secrets surrounding Johnny’s heroic efforts 10 years earlier. Others are dying in the swamps and forest that Johnny now calls home. And Jack, well, he’s got in the middle between trying to protect his friend and save his own life.

To say more about the...

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I received a copy for NetGalley for my honest opinion.

I did not realize this was a supernatural type book. I also haven’t read the first book. I didn’t like it. It just was not for me. I’m sorry.
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I really liked The Lost Child and was anxious to read this one to see what the future holds for those characters.  I was a little disappointed in this one as it took a magical, suspend belief turn.
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Once again, John Hart took me to the edge of my seat as I read the continued story of Johnny begun in "The Last Child". This time Johnny is grown and lives life on his own terms in the swamp near his ancestral home and the deserted old slave yard. There is something going on there that is evil and not entirely of this world. Johnny is somehow connected, but once again misunderstood by the law. His friend Jack, now a lawyer, continues to stand by him, but is frustrated by Johnny's secrecy. The story connects with a young woman who is a descendant of one of the freed slaves from the plantation of Johnny's great grandfather. Both she and Johnny have "dreams" that...

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I had a difficult time with this book. I'm not sure if it's because I didn't read the book that started this story, The Last Child, or if it was the supernatural aspect that surrounded the violence and deaths at Hush Arbor. Once I started skimming large portions of the story, I knew I couldn't finish it. I think that John Hart took this story in a direction and genre he hasn't really done before and it didn't work for me. I think he is a great writer and can tell a story, but I just couldn't connect with this one... on to the next!
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I had high hopes for this book as I have been a fan of John Hart but I was completely underwhelmed. This one has me going at first but then took a turn for the worse, not what I was expecting at all. It was hard to follow and just hard for me to struggle through in the end. I will look forward to more of his writing in the future but won't be recommending this one.
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Huge fan of this author. Very fast paced and very intriguing. I enjoyed how it kept me hooked and it was an original story. Nowadays so many books read the same. Highly recommend
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My indoctrination into the fabulous world of John Hart's writing took place with his second novel, DOWN RIVER. To this day it stands at the top of my list of favorite crime novels. I've read everything Hart has written, and enjoyed each story for different reasons. King of Lies was lyrical and assured for a debut. Redemption Road dark and foreboding. Iron Lake saw Hart taking risks he hadn't yet taken at that point in his career. The Last Child was his epic, game-changing entry, reminiscent of what Mystic River did for Dennis Lehane''s career. When word spread that Hart was writing a sequel to The Last Child I marked the date on my calendar and settled myself for...

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Editor's note: This review appears online and in print in (Boone, NC) Mountain Times (www.mountaintimes.com)

More than a whisper: John Hart returns to the scene of the crime in 'The Hush'

Reviewers have never been quiet when it comes to a new John Hart novel, and from starred critiques to caveats of uneven characterization — often in the same review — “The Hush” (St. Martin’s Press) is making well-deserved noise among literary circles.

It doesn’t hurt that Hart, the only author to win the best novel Edgar Award for consecutive books, returns to the scene of his most-read, most-awarded work, “The Last Child.” That 2009 Edgar Award-winning mystery details Johnny Merrimon’s...

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