Book 17 on my “March to 100 for 2019″—John Hart: The Hush—Six thousand acres of swamp hold centuries-old secrets that haunt a young man.
I recently discovered John Hart through The Last Child, a haunting story of a young boy searching for his missing sister. That book hinted at some levels of mysticism, but dealt primarily with the evils of modern day criminals and secrets. The Hush dives deep into a more supernatural world.
Johnny Merrimon, the young boy from The Last Child, is now grown and living as a recluse on 6,000 acres of swamp, the only remaining land held by his family. He has a tenuous relationship with the descendants of the slaves that used to be owned by his family and even less connection to the town’s people nearby. Jack Cross, his childhood friend now newly-minted lawyer, is one of the few people who see him.
The land is considered haunted with a long history of lost hikers and hunters, some who have wandered back off the property mentally damaged and others who have never been seen again. Has Merrimon become damaged by living on the land? Is he now a rogue criminal or is the sheriff wrong to try to hunt him down? And if Merrimon isn’t the criminal, who–or what–is wreaking havoc against those who dare venture into the swamp?
The story is a fascinating series of twists and turns that involves a centuries old mystery between slaves and owner that affects the lives of their descendants in the present day.
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