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The Unwilling: A Novel
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St. Martin's Publishing Group 2021
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Description

THE INSTANT BESTSELLER
"We the unwilling, led by the unqualified to kill the unfortunate, die for the ungrateful." —Unknown Soldier

Set in the South at the height of the Vietnam War, The Unwilling combines crime, suspense and searing glimpses into the human mind and soul in New York Times bestselling author John Hart's singular style.
Gibby's older brothers have already been to war. One died there. The other came back misunderstood and hard, a decorated killer now freshly released from a three-year stint in prison.
Jason won't speak of the war or of his time behind bars, but he wants a relationship with the younger brother he hasn't known for years. Determined to make that connection, he coaxes Gibby into a day at the lake: long hours of sunshine and whisky and older women.
But the day turns ugly when the four encounter a prison transfer bus on a stretch of empty road. Beautiful but drunk, one of the women taunts the prisoners, leading to a riot on the bus. The woman finds it funny in the moment, but is savagely murdered soon after.
Given his violent history, suspicion turns first to Jason; but when the second woman is kidnapped, the police suspect Gibby, too. Determined to prove Jason innocent, Gibby must avoid the cops and dive deep into his brother's hidden life, a dark world of heroin, guns and outlaw motorcycle gangs.
What he discovers there is a truth more disturbing than he could have imagined: not just the identity of the killer and the reasons for Tyra's murder, but the forces that shaped his brother in Vietnam, the reason he was framed, and why the most dangerous man alive wants him back in prison.
This is crime fiction at its most raw, an exploration of family and the past, of prison and war and the indelible marks they leave.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
02/02/2021
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781250167736
ASIN:
B0818PV8XR
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APA Citation (style guide)

John Hart. (2021). The Unwilling: A Novel. St. Martin's Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

John Hart. 2021. The Unwilling: A Novel. St. Martin's Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

John Hart, The Unwilling: A Novel. St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2021.

MLA Citation (style guide)

John Hart. The Unwilling: A Novel. St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2021. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jan 29, 2021 16:12:44
Date Updated:
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fullDescription

THE INSTANT BESTSELLER
"We the unwilling, led by the unqualified to kill the unfortunate, die for the ungrateful." —Unknown Soldier

Set in the South at the height of the Vietnam War, The Unwilling combines crime, suspense and searing glimpses into the human mind and soul in New York Times bestselling author John Hart's singular style.
Gibby's older brothers have already been to war. One died there. The other came back misunderstood and hard, a decorated killer now freshly released from a three-year stint in prison.
Jason won't speak of the war or of his time behind bars, but he wants a relationship with the younger brother he hasn't known for years. Determined to make that connection, he coaxes Gibby into a day at the lake: long hours of sunshine and whisky and older women.
But the day turns ugly when the four encounter a prison transfer bus on a stretch of empty road. Beautiful but drunk, one of the women taunts the prisoners, leading to a riot on the bus. The woman finds it funny in the moment, but is savagely murdered soon after.
Given his violent history, suspicion turns first to Jason; but when the second woman is kidnapped, the police suspect Gibby, too. Determined to prove Jason innocent, Gibby must avoid the cops and dive deep into his brother's hidden life, a dark world of heroin, guns and outlaw motorcycle gangs.
What he discovers there is a truth more disturbing than he could have imagined: not just the identity of the killer and the reasons for Tyra's murder, but the forces that shaped his brother in Vietnam, the reason he was framed, and why the most dangerous man alive wants him back in prison.
This is crime fiction at its most raw, an exploration of family and the past, of prison and war and the indelible marks they leave.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Book Reporter
      • content:

        "[The Unwilling] will confirm John Hart as one of the best crime fiction writers working today."

      • premium: False
      • source: AARP
      • content: "Another embarrassment of riches from Hart's seemingly unlimited basket of talents."
      • premium: False
      • source: Oline H. Cogdill for the Sun Sentinel
      • content: "Unforgettable and propulsive ... extremely well-written suspense with emotional depth."
      • premium: False
      • source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
      • content: "Often, the most gripping historicals take place during our immediate past as John Hart demonstrates in The Unwilling...Hart skillfully mines the details of the early 1970s and the impact the Vietnam War had on the country...the story's strength is its deep examination of characters and the country. Each is a product of the times while trying to look to the future."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist (starred review)
      • content: "Hart's writing is tense and powerful... a novel that you'll be thinking about for a long time after you turn the final page."
      • premium: False
      • source: C.J. Box, #1 New York Times bestselling author
      • content: "Another scorcher from Hart ... [he] keeps us engaged ... subtly folding quiet, character-driven moments into the story while still powering the narrative toward an all-stops-out ending--and a chilling coda. Remember to breathe after you turn the last page."
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        April 15, 2020
        A dishonorably discharged Marine returns home, throwing his family into chaos. A family melodrama at first appears to be the center of Hart's latest, a diffuse tale that lacks the drive of his other works. Jason French has just returned to Charleston, South Carolina. After a dishonorable discharge from the Marines, Jason spiraled into drug abuse and landed in prison. Now freed, his presence roils a wounded family. His twin brother, Robert, was killed in Vietnam. Family patriarch William and his wife, Gabrielle (a woefully undeveloped character), determine to keep Jason away from his impressionable younger brother, Gibby, a high school senior. Gibby looks up to Jason, eventually believing his dishonorable discharge was undeserved. Gibby's coming-of-age tale might have focused the story, but it vies with a long lineup of characters, events, and themes trailing through the plot. Family drama morphs into horror story when a convict among a busload of inmates from a state prison farm spots Jason and informs Prisoner X (so named because his real name is Axel, or possibly because he killed 10 men). Worth millions and brutally powerful, X terrorizes prison staff and powerful outsiders into doing his bidding. X shared prison time with Jason and now, for reasons gradually parsed out, wants the ex-Marine back at the prison, so he manipulates his minions to murder a woman Jason knows and frame him for the killing. Fleeing arrest, Jason is captured and sent back to prison. Gibby thereupon determines to clear his brother of murder and learn what was behind Jason's discharge from the Marines (alas, not a very startling reveal). Now the narrative turns into a more traditional police procedural. The case windup adds some much-needed juice to an otherwise slow-moving, colorless narrative, which ends with a chilling kicker. Less would be a lot more.

        COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        April 27, 2020
        This subpar novel from bestseller Hart (The Hush) explores the impact of the Vietnam War on a Southern family. While serving as a Marine in Vietnam, Jason French reportedly killed many people, some under suspicious circumstances. After returning stateside a heroin addict, he spent time in prison for violent crimes related to his addiction. Now, in 1972, Jason has come back to his hometown of Charlotte, N.C., and is working to reestablish a relationship with his younger brother, Gibby. Meanwhile, a woman Jason once slept with is murdered as part of a scheme orchestrated by an over-the-top bad guy known as X, who has evidence planted implicating Jason in the murder. A multimillionaire on death row for murder, X can manipulate the prison system and pull strings in the outside world. Convinced of Jason’s innocence, Gibby sets out to exonerate him, a mission that coincides with a burgeoning relationship with the most attractive girl in his high school, a clichéd subplot that distracts from Jason’s fraught story. Meanwhile, a villain out of a James Bond film undermines plausibility. This gifted author has done better. 150,000-copy announced first printing. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        November 1, 2020
        We know there's always at least two years between John Hart's novels (The Hush, 2018) so you'd think we'd have the sense to pace ourselves a little when we open a new one. But no. As little as 10 pages into The Unwilling, we're galloping forward in the same headlong way we always have. Like his previous six books, this one, set in the Vietnam War-era, is a family novel at its core, but circling out from that core are multiple, tightly wound and well-constructed plot threads, Just released from prison, Jason French--disgraced Vietnam veteran and heroin dealer--plans a day of hanging out with his younger brother, Gibby, who is about to graduate from high school. Events quickly spin out of control, and soon Jason is back in prison, this time for murder, and Gibby is determined to prove his brother's innocence. But beyond that premise is much more: the real story of what happened to Jason in Vietnam, Gibby's troubled coming-of-age under the overprotective thumbs of his parents, and, most of all, there is Prisoner X, the Hannibal Lecter-like genius manipulating the action from his jail cell. Yes, there are wildly disparate parts at play here, but Hart keeps us engaged with all of them, subtly folding quiet, character-driven moments into the story while still powering the narrative toward an all-stops-out ending--and a chilling coda. Remember to breathe after you turn the last page. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Another scorcher from Hart, whose first six novels all were New York Times best-sellers. He's been rolling sevens from the start, so it's no surprise that his seventh book comes up a winner, too.

        COPYRIGHT(2020) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        March 1, 2020

        In 1972, at the height of the Vietnam War, Gibson "Gibby" French is about to graduate from his North Carolina high school. Both of Gibby's older brothers have been to war. Robert was killed in action; Jason returned--but as a shattered man who descended into a life of drugs and violence. After being released from a 27-month prison term, Jason, against the wishes of their parents, seeks to reconnect with Gibby. They spend a day together enjoying some whiskey and the company of two women, Tyra and Sara. But shortly afterward, Tyra is found brutally murdered. Jason is arrested for the crime and sent back to prison. Gibby is determined to prove his brother's innocence, but he must grapple with powerful forces that are targeting Jason. When Sara disappears, Gibby looks to save her and find the true killer. VERDICT Edgar Award-winning Hart (The Hush) offers another propulsive crime novel that features fully realized, multifaceted characters and a strong sense of place. [See Prepub Alert, 11/25/19.]--Andy Northrup, Eugene P.L., OR

        Copyright 2020 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        January 1, 2020

        After fighting in Vietnam and serving three years in prison, Jason wants to reconnect with younger brother Gibby, so he invites him on an outing with two women and some whiskey. But a disturbing incident leads to the murder of one woman and the kidnapping of the other, and with the brothers as suspects, Gibby must investigate Jason's heroin- and gun-laced past. From the only author to win two best novel Edgars consecutively.

        Copyright 2020 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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shortDescription

THE INSTANT BESTSELLER
"We the unwilling, led by the unqualified to kill the unfortunate, die for the ungrateful." —Unknown Soldier

Set in the South at the height of the Vietnam War, The Unwilling combines crime, suspense and searing glimpses into the human mind and soul in New York Times bestselling author John Hart's singular style.
Gibby's older brothers have already been to war. One died there. The other came back misunderstood and hard, a decorated killer now freshly released from a three-year stint in prison.
Jason won't speak of the war or of his time behind bars, but he wants a relationship with the younger brother he hasn't known for years. Determined to make that connection, he coaxes Gibby into a day at the lake: long hours of sunshine and whisky and older women.
But the day turns ugly when the four encounter a prison transfer bus on a stretch of empty road. Beautiful but drunk,...

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