The Hush by John Hart
St. Martin's Press: 2/27/18
eBook review copy; 432 pages
The Hush by John Hart is a highly recommended thriller. It is also a sequel to 2009's The Last Child, although it can be read as a stand-alone novel.
Johnny Merrimon and Jack Cross are back. It's been ten years since the events from The Last Child (Johnny became a national celebrity after capturing the man responsible for murdering his sister Alyssa
and their father). Johnny, now 23, is living a solitary life on
the six thousand acres called Hush Arbor in North Carolina. He
struggles to keep his life private, despite the fact that a book has
been written about what happened when he was thirteen. Jack is now an
attorney and has returned to Raven County to practice law. He and Johnny
still have an unbreakable bond and connection to each other.
Johnny has been fighting a legal battle to keep the land that he
inherited five years ago.
Cree Freemantle, a young woman who also has a claim to the land, is
challenging him legally for ownership of the property. Johnny won the
initial suit, but the case has now reached the appellate court. Johnny
is land rich, but cash poor and he needs Jack to help him fight the
legal battle for the property.
Jack wants to help Johnny, and tries to arrange a more qualified
attorney on a pro bono basis to handle the appeal. But he also senses an
unseen menace and feels like there is something dark and sinister
living in Hush Arbor. He also questions Johnny's ability to heal so
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."
I haven't read The Last Child, although I'd like to after reading The Hush.
While it is true that this novel can be enjoyed without reading the
previous novel, in some ways I feel like I would have enjoyed The Last Child more than The Hush.
Once the novel headed down the magic supernatural dark forces path
along with the tie-in to events that happened in the 1850's, I began to
question why I was reading it. Still, it is a satisfying story and well
written, which matters a great deal to me. I didn't particularly like
the ending, but it does bring the story to a conclusion. 3.5 rounded up
My review copy was courtesy of St. Martin's Press.