Review: John Hart’s Iron House in North Carolina Literary Review

In addition to its annual print publication, the North Carolina Literary Review has just debuted a mid-Winter electronic supplement—and I’m pleased to have a review of John Hart’s Iron House in its pages (er… screens). Here’s the opening paragraph of my review:

John Hart’s first three books, The King of Lies, Down River, and The Last Child, so firmly established a pattern of thematic concerns that it will come as no surprise to find those same motifs and messages at the heart of his latest novel, Iron House. Hart’s books regularly explores how the ties of family and of class don’t just bind but often constrain, examine how men burdened by guilty secrets struggle to atone and forge ahead, and exalt personal sacrifice as an often noble path to redemption. While Hart’s first two novels limited themselves to single perspectives—privileged men, haunted by the past, facing an uncertain future—his third book, The Last Child, broadened that canvas to plumb the perspectives of people across a wide range of age, race and class, and Iron House seems to mark another stage of growth, expanding beyond the milieu of troubled North Carolina families to include as well the dangerous world of organized crime on the mean streets of New York.

Check out the full issue here. — Art Taylor