Bestselling author to be at library

By Bill Colvard -
John Hart - Photo courtesy of John Hart

John Hart, the author of five New York Times bestsellers, will be doing a personal appearance and book signing at the Mount Airy Public Library on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

Hart will be presenting his new title, “The Hush,” released on Feb. 27.

“His first book, ‘The King of Lies,’ brought him a lot of recognition,” said Gwyn. “He hasn’t written a great number of books, but they’ve all been right up there.”

Hart writes thrillers and mysteries, and “The King of Lies” was a New York Times bestseller, followed on the bestseller lists by “Down River,” “The Last Child,” “Iron House” and “Redemption Road.” Hart’s most recent title, “The Hush” is a sequel to “The Last Child.”

“This is his first sequel,” said Gwyn. “All of his other books are independent stories. It will be interesting to find out what made him change up his writing style.”

“The Hush” is set 10 years after “The Last Child” ended, and protagonist Johnny Merrimon and his old friend Jack pick up with what they shared, what they lost and the unspeakable fear of what moves in the swamp.

“If you don’t want to like John Hart, don’t meet him,” Pat Gwyn, Mount Airy branch librarian, said she was told by Hart’s agent.

Hart is a Salisbury native, and his books take place in North Carolina, where he was born and still lives. Gwyn said she is happy the library was able to secure such a successful author to make an appearance in Mount Airy, and “he’s a North Carolina writer, so that thrills me, too.”

Hart is the only author in history to win the Edgar Award for best novel with consecutive novels: “Down River” won the 2008 award, then “The Last Child” won in 2010.

He beat out the likes of Michael Chabon’s “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union” which itself won a Hugo Award for science fiction.

He has also won the Barry Award, the Southern Independent Bookseller’s Award for Fiction, the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award, the Southern Book Prize and the North Carolina Award for Literature. His novels have been translated into 30 languages and can be found in over 70 countries.

Hart is a 1988 graduate of Davidson College, a former defense attorney and stockbroker, but now writes full-time. His work has been compared to that of Scott Turow and John Grisham.

“His books are enjoyed by men and women,” said Gwyn, “which is a change from some of the authors we’ve had who appealed more to women. I’m expecting we’ll get a more mixed group this time.”

“We feel like we’ve been waiting a long time for this,” said Gwyn. “We got the booking confirmed well before Christmas. As soon as we find out about a book, we check to see if there is going to be a tour.”

“I hope we have a large turnout so he knows he is welcomed and how much people like to read his books,” said Gwyn. “We’re going to have books for sale. Pages Bookstore has helped us with that. And there will be a display of his previous books which can be checked out.”

John Hart will be at Mount Airy Public Library, 145 Rockford St, on Wednesday, March 7, at 3 p.m. There is no charge for this event.

John Hart Hart Photo courtesy of John Hart

By Bill Colvard

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.