‘Down River’ is a beautifully written mystery by John Hart. I have loved most of Hart’s novels and this is among the best.
Five years ago 23 year old Adam Chase was charged with the murder of a popular young man. He didn’t commit the crime and the case was eventually dropped for lack of evidence. His small town and his family still saw him as guilty, so he moved to New York, leaving behind his fiancé and the only life he had ever known.
Now he has returned at the request of a childhood friend but his real reason is to see if he can make peace with his father and others who he deserted and if his small town in Rowan County North Carolina will accept him.
But he arrives to a town in turmoil. There is a nuclear power plant being planned and a lot of people will get rich from selling their land. But Adam’s father refuses to sell and his land is key to the deal.
Then shortly after Adam’s arrival the murders start. With Adam’s history he is an instant suspect. He needs to find the real murderer as the sheriff isn’t looking beyond Adam and his family,
Adam eventually uncovers the murderer and some older truths that have affected his whole life. But is it enough to make him stay?
This was a brilliantly written novel and completely pulled me into the story. I loved the characters, especially Adam, his father and family friend Dolf. Some of the women were a bit too ornamental (at least on the surface).
John Hart is an excellent author and most of his novels have been a pleasure to read. I still have more on my reading list.
Book Published 2007