Thursday, August 18, 2011

Iron House by John Hart

Iron House

From Goodreads: "An old man is dying.

When the old man is dead they will come for him.
And they will come for her, to make him hurt.
John Hart has written three New York Times bestsellers and won an unprecedented two back-to-back Edgar Awards. His books have been called “masterful” (Jeffery Deaver) and “gripping” (People) with “Grisham-style intrigue and Turow-style brooding” (The New York Times). Now he delivers his fourth novel—a gut-wrenching, heart-stopping thriller no reader will soon forget.
At the Iron Mountain Home for Boys, there was nothing but time. Time to burn and time to kill, time for two young orphans to learn that life isn’t won without a fight. Julian survives only because his older brother, Michael, is fearless and fiercely protective. When tensions boil over and a boy is brutally killed, there is only one sacrifice left for Michael to make: He flees the orphanage and takes the blame with him.
For two decades, Michael has been an enforcer in New York’s world of organized crime, a prince of the streets so widely feared he rarely has to kill anymore. But the life he’s fought to build unravels when he meets Elena, a beautiful innocent who teaches him the meaning and power of love. He wants a fresh start with her, the chance to start a family like the one he and Julian never had. But someone else is holding the strings. And escape is not that easy. . . .
The mob boss who gave Michael his blessing to begin anew is dying, and his son is intent on making Michael pay for his betrayal. Determined to protect the ones he loves, Michael spirits Elena—who knows nothing of his past crimes, or the peril he’s laid at her door— back to North Carolina, to the place he was born and the brother he lost so long ago. There, he will encounter a whole new level of danger, a thicket of deceit and violence that leads inexorably to the one place he’s been running from his whole life: Iron House."

This is one of the best books I have read this summer!  It has a little something for every reader....  Romance, politics, mystery, an unpredictable plot line , suspense and lots of murder (warning: some scenes are very graphic)!  It has well written, interesting characters and did I mention an unpredictable plot?

Just when I was sure I had it all figured out, John Hart would throw me a curve ball and I would have to start all over.  I love to try to second guess the author and while I like the fact that I can figure out the whole plot before  the ending of the book, I REALLY enjoy being stumped! 

I addition to the exciting plot, this is a story about the importance of family, the scars that remain from an unstable childhood and the struggle to overcome the past.

It takes extraordinary skill to write a likable hero that is a professional killer who doesn't have remorse for the murders he has committed.  Hart managed this and more!  Michael is the James Bond of mafia hit men. You will fall for this bad boy with the tortured past.

Hart also captivates his audience with the character of Julian, Michael's mentally ill younger brother.  My only critisim is that Julian's illness  is described as schizophrenia, when in fact it is more likely another diagnosis.  I won't go into detail here because it is an essential part of the plot line.  I would have omitted any attempt to actually label Julian's illness, I found the error to be a distraction.

Overall, Iron House is a refreshing change of pace with an exciting original story.  It is so well written that reading it was effortless!  This book is on the top of my  "Must read list for 2011"!

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