February 2021 Indie Next List
“It’s been too long since I let life go by because a book pulled me into its world, but The Unwilling stole my weekend. Set in the Vietnam War era, it wasn’t an easy read. The cost to a French family, just one of so many broken by overwhelming sadness, destruction, and evil, reminded me of how little we learn and how high the price is for ourselves and future generations when we don’t face our history and tell our stories honestly.”
— Nancy McCarty, Otto Bookstore, Williamsport, PA
This program includes a letter read by the author
“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.
A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press
“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.” -- Booklist, starred review
About the Author
John Hart is the New York Times bestselling author of The King of Lies, Down River, The Last Child, Iron House, Redemption Road, and The Hush. The only author in history to win the Edgar Award for Best Novel consecutively, John has also won the Barry Award, the Southern Independent Bookseller’s Award for Fiction, the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award, and the North Carolina Award for Literature. His novels have been translated into thirty languages and can be found in more than seventy countries.