John Hart’s Iron House started out rough, but turned into quite a page turner—finished it late last night. As I think I’ve mentioned before, outside of the Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes I was raised on, I don’t tend to read thrillers/suspense novels/mysteries—too often I feel like they’re done poorly, churned out at mass rates to stock airport bookstores.
IH exceeded my expectations by being just a well-crafted story. Again, the beginning was a little slow, but once I got into it, it clipped along at a good pace. What truly makes or breaks a mystery for me, though, is for sure the ending. A bad thriller ending can undo the author’s entire previous efforts to win my favor, however well they may have been doing thus far. IH‘s ending was neat—in that it made logical sense and left no loose ends—and, without spoiling, satisfactorily coincidental. The plot had a creepy orphanage (à la Jane Eyre on violent, violent steroids), brutal crime bosses, mental illness, and some unforgettable Appalachians. It did not have any of the components that I greatly dislike in books of this genre (namely, any kind of political connection, which never fails to confuse me), leaving it, all in all, quite a good fast-paced read.