Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Iron House by John Hart

Iron House
John Hart
Published July 12th, 2011 by St. Martin's Press
Source: Won

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. -Goodreads

Iron House by John Hart is an extroidinary thriller. If you plan on reading this book, make sure all your chores are taken care of because you aren't going to want to take a break from reading. Be prepared to remind yourself to eat and sleep because you will likely forget such trivial things while you are so utterly engrossed in this book.

So what did I enjoy most about Iron House? Where do I even begin? The characters are great. Even though their circumstances are abnormal, they still felt relatable and complete (except I felt like I did want to know more about Jessup and maybe Steven). The landscape and scenery described by Hart was detailed without being overly stylized. His description of the locales in the N. Carolina mountains felt like they were isolated from everything which gave the story an even heavier, eerie feeling. No where to run to.

Michael and Julian were brothers abandoned when they were small babies, and were raised in Iron Mountain Home for Boys. They had a rough time of it, Julian always being picked on for being frail, until one day he broke completely and killed another boy that was hurting him. Michael took the blame and the murder weapon and fled from the home. That is where their lives split until twenty-three years later, when Michael, once again, fears for Julian's safety.

The mob, crooked politicians, murder, schizophrenia; this book has all that and more. Of course there are twists and turns that make these books all the more gut wrenching, so you have to read it to find out.

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