Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Crime & Beyond Book Club Reviews Iron House

Kerry Hammond reports today on the recent meeting of the Crime & Beyond Book Club...

Crime & Beyond book club of Lone Tree, Colorado met this month to discuss Iron House by John Hart. Hart is a former attorney and stockbroker who gave up his career to try his hand at his lifelong dream to be a writer.  He has written four books, all New York Times bestsellers.  He has won numerous awards, including two Edgars, and has the distinction of being the only author in history to win the best novel Edgar Award for consecutive novels.  His previous books are King of Lies, Down River, and The Last Child.

I have said in the past that the discussion is always better when we have vastly differing opinions on the book, but this month’s meeting changed my mind. On the whole, the book got ratings mostly in the 8-9 range. Yet we had a lively and animated discussion about the plot and characters. 

Some of the praise for the book involved the great characters and the twists and turns of the plot. The author managed to wind us through the backgrounds and lives of some very troubled people with very disturbing pasts. The characters were so well drawn that they seemed like real people.  Many of them had dark secrets, and the author slowly gave the reader hints as the story went on.  I am happy to say that none of us came close to guessing and we were all surprised to find out that we followed the red herrings set out for us.

Some of the criticism for the book involved the same two things that the praise dealt with: characters and plot. For the characters, some people weren’t able to buy Michael’s change in circumstances.  Others were able to ride right along with the author (me included) and were able to suspend belief and could see Michael as a different person. Mostly because he became a killer out of a need for survival rather than any sociopathic tendencies.

One thing we all agreed on was that John Hart is an excellent writer. Iron House was a wonderful story about family and how events we experience can change our lives in an instant.  The book is definitely a page turner, with some fairly fast action.  The author was able to tie up all of the story lines and loose ends by the end of the tale, and in a way that left the reader extremely satisfied with the outcome.  

We’re glad that Hart quit his job as a lawyer to spend time entertaining us with his stories. We only wish he wrote more books for us to read. 


  1. I loved this book. He's a great author.

    1. I haven't read any books by him, but now I've added this one to my TBR pile.