Otto Penzler's favorite book of March 2018:
"Although I seem never to have time to read, I am a helpless addict when a new book by John Hart is published. I’ve read every one with great pleasure. He’s the only author ever to win Best Novel Edgars back to back, though I wouldn’t have complained if he’d won five in a row. The Hush derives its title from Hush Arbor, a 6,000-square-foot piece of land that is so swampy, misty, slimy, and foul that it appears to have supernatural qualities and is essentially uninhabitable. Still, Johnny Merrimon, a local hero for early acts of bravery, has chosen to live alone on the land given to his family 150 years ago in order to avoid contact with people. The lone exception to his solitary existence is Jack Cross, his boyhood friend, now a lawyer, his rare connection to the outside world. A billionaire wants the land for a hunting field and Cross is the only person who can help Merrimon retain possession. Unlike in any of Hart’s previous novels, there are elements of supernatural occurrences connected to the swamp, though Johnny seems to have a certain level of control over them. Hunters familiar with the land come for Johnny and become hopelessly lost, others are attacked by unknown forces, beasts seem to magically appear, yet Johnny remains untouched by them. The Hush is a combination mystery, thriller, psychological suspense, and horror story, all neatly meshed by this master storyteller."