Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Iron House” as Want to Read:
Iron House
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Iron House

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  8,015 ratings  ·  1,350 reviews
There was nothing but time at the Iron Mountain Home for Boys, time for two orphans to learn that life is neither painless nor won without a fight. Julian survives only because his older brother, Michael, is both feared and fiercely protective. When an older boy is brutally killed, Michael makes the ultimate sacrifice to protect his brother: He flees the orphanage and take ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Iron House, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Iron House

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Oct 09, 2013 Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Group Read
A solid thriller that accomplishes what it sets out to do – keeps you flipping those pages. Stone cold killer Michael and his brother Julian are both emotional wrecks after a horrific childhood in the orphanage from hell. An upbringing that’s made Michael strong and Julian weak, you know the needy over-emotional artsy type.
A big shot in the mafia Michael’s looking for a lifestyle change, to settle down with his girlfriend Elena and raise a family. But nobody quits the mob, so between killing of
Daniel Audet
My first book by John Hart, "Iron House" makes me feel like I wish I had read his other books too. And I will.
Iron House is the most amazing blend of literary eloquence in writing and graphic narration/description I've ever read. The reviews say "riveting" and other terms reserved for the bestsellers of our day, and believe me, they're all true.
I honestly didn't know what to expect as I picked up this novel but the reviews spoke well of it and I liked the title. I'm glad I did.
Third person POV
Doug Bradshaw
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
They say you should never judge a book by its cover. Or in the case of John Hart's Iron House, it might be more appropriate to say you should never judge a book by its cover blurb and marketing campaign.

Hailed as one of the best books of the summer, it'd be easy to assume that the story would follow the usual tropes of the action/mystery/thriller genre. A hitman for the mob meets a beautiful woman, falls in love and wants to get out of the game. He's granted permission by the dying patriarch of
Read for "Books, Movies, TV and Life" group as the September, 2013 Southern Mystery read.

This was a fun, twisty tale with a lot of interesting people & nonstop action. The story unfolds in bits & pieces, plenty of clues, but never quite enough to make it obvious. And everyone lies, even to themselves. There was a lot of graphic violence that was well done, too. Unfortunately, everything was a little too overdone.

The hero was interesting, but a little too close to perfect. He was handsome
Frederick Masterman
Although I am impressed by John Hart’s talents as an author, I was disappointed in his work in Iron House. He is capable of much better writing, as evidenced in his former excellent novels.
This story is somewhat complicated, but the saga of a “bad man-gone-good-because-of-true love” is familiar, and in Hart’s hands the old story gets an entertaining treatment. My reservations lie in the credibility of many aspects of the story. Michael, the hit man and beloved “adopted” son of a feared mobster,
Time heals all wounds - or does it? For Michael and Julian, time is an enemy, that rips the past into the present, and places the future in uncertain jeopardy...

Michael and Julian begin as orphans at Iron House - a decrepit boys home in the North Carolina mountains. Facing down bullies and inept caretakers, Iron House is more of a prison than a home to the young boys. When Michael apparently kills one of the bullies who torments his younger, weaker brother Julian, he runs to protect Julian and d
What a ride! My heart was in my throat the entire time and I just wanted to race to the end so I could find out what was really going on. I was wildly speculating different scenarios as I read...funny to think back on those after finishing it. Strong characters - I loved some and loathed some. I've said it before and I'll say it again, characters that evoke strong emotions in me usually bode well for me really liking a book.

This would have been a 5 star book for me but for a couple brutal scenes
John Hart's fourth novel doesn't start in first gear.( This is not out yet (07/12),I won an ARC on "First Reads" ) This one starts with the peddle to the floor, and the tension stays all the way through. In this tale of two brothers, Michael the tougher, protective older one, and Julian, weaker and tormented by other boys at the orphanage. When the life Michael had, blows up in his face, and has to get out of town fast,with the mob in hot pursuit, with the woman he loves. Not seeing his brother ...more
I listened to the audio edition of this book and it's sad when you keep wanting a book to be over. I could not even finish it. I know Hart can do better than this. Too much forced drama and not enough depth.
Vannessagrace Vannessagrace

Iron House is a great work of horror!

Iron House is a sheer work of genus! John Hart gave me what I like in horror thrillers. He gave me the walking through dark corridors with sounds that set my nerves on edge. He made me give thought about wanting to see what’s around the corner and he did this all without gore and slice and dice. Rarely will readers find an author who knows how to stimulate readers imaginations to stretch beyond their comfort zones.

During the winter in the North Carolina moun

Two babies left to die in an icy creak. Two boys who must fight to survive. Two men, two very different lives. One unbreakable bond.

When a twelve-year-old boy murders his tormentor in their brutal orphanage, his older brother takes the blame and runs to New York - into the heart of organized crime. Two decades later, Michael returns to North Carolina with a sentence on his head, the mob in hot pursuit and his long-lost brother in trouble of a different kind. With vast sums in play, political fo
Wow. I've read a book and I have nothing bad to say about it. I really liked this one. It gripped me from the beginning and pulled me right in. It kept me firmly rooted, waiting to see what was going to happen next. Great suspense.

The characters were so flawed, but so like-able. They were well defined, but yet unpredictable. There were some creative twists and turns in this that kept the pace moving and they provided avenues of gaining new information little by little, both of the plot and the

This was very, very good. Not quite what I was expecting from the blurb on the back as I thought it would be more like “Gangster” by Lorenzo Carcaterra (one of my favourite books) but it was more character driven and focused in the present and not really centred on organised crime.

I don’t like writing reviews for books I have really enjoyed as I don’t feel I do them justice so I will keep it brief:

If you enjoy books which are good, read this.

If you like this, try: “The Last Child” – John
This was a terrific book! I read it in just a couple of days. John Hart does a great job keeping the reader guessing until the end. I have to say that my favorite "characters" in the book were the Land Rovers. I plan to check out his other books just to see if they feature Land Rovers as prominently too.

Loved this book!
I enjoyed this as a fast-paced mystery thriller. I listened to the audio which might not have been the best format as the narrator tended to make some of the characters come off as too cliche and overly dramatic. I liked it best when I just "stayed in story" and went with it. If I thought about it too seriously, I would end up picking it apart for the absurdity of certain situations and dialogue. It did have some characters who were interesting and I was pulling for them. I had a hard time with ...more
Who doesn't love a story about orphanages or reform schools - those places where children are hidden away from sight, where Lord of the Flies-style children's societies form, where adults are often the worst enemy? They're like stories about asylums, full of that sense of Gothic danger.

Iron House manages to successfully combine Gothic elements within an action-type thriller. The story is well-paced, full of twists and turns, and hits all the high notes for its genre. Almost too good to be true (
There's something about John Hart novels. They suck me in, string me along for 300 pages or so, then ultimately leave me vaguely unsatisfied. Iron House is no different, although this time it took a bit longer for the disappointment to set in.

Here's the premise. On a cold November morning, hunters find a pair of baby boys left in creek, nearly dead. One is about ten months old, the other is a premature newborn. They are taken to Iron Mountain Home For Boys, a decrepit orphanage straight out of C
Have you ever considered how hard it is to get out of an impossible situation?

Michael and his brother, Julian, were raised in a home for boys. Iron House provided a shelter and discipline. Julian was constantly abused and bullied by other boys. Michael wanted to protect his brother and was forced to fight for both of them. As a result, he became a ferocious combatant. When Julian finally struck back at his main tormentor, Michael took the blame.

Julian was adopted and Michael left the home and li
I loved this book! Iron House is right up there with The Last Child, another one of Hart's books. From the very first page I was hooked! The story flips back and forth from the past to the present where Hart does a terrific job in slowly revealing family secrets. The story begins with two young orphan boys, Michael and Jordan, one strong and one weak, who live in an orphanage and struggle to survive the terror within. Eventually one is adopted into an influential family and the other runs away t ...more
JoAnne Pulcino
John Hart
Wow! What a fantastic read! Be prepared for a great ride!
This impressively masterful thriller is riveting with all the components of steady building tension and a plot rich with a complex family history.
Having already been a fan of Mr. Hart’s previous books, I was looking forward to a good read. Needless to say, I was immediately captivated and lost sleep, so he exceeded my expectations.
Two orphaned brothers who were raised and abused in the IRON HOUSE, an orphanage in the mou
Michael and Julian are brothers who suffered the pain and cruelty of an inept orphanage. Michael runs away from the orphanage after killing one of his brother’s tormentors and they become estranged for over twenty years. Julian is adopted and is soon living with the wealthy family of a senator. Michael while living on the streets is picked up by a mob boss and is trained to be a ruthless killer.

When the mob boss dies, so will Michael’s connection to him and his family wants Michael dead. And the
Megan Hodges
An excerpt from the novel (pg 357 in my edition)
"There was black poetry to her unpleasantness, a rhythm of lies and pride and cunning ....She pushed when she could, drew back when she felt threatened and then pushed again. She wanted everything she could get, dollars and knowledge and insight, tjhe key to Michael's soul if she could find a way to trick it out of him. She'd say horrible things, then preen like an insane teenager and look at him sideways. Michael couldn't tell how much was act and
I really enjoyed the characterization in this book, which did not come at the expense of the fast-paced action.

My only gripe, which was a big one for me -- Schizophrenia is not multiple personality disorder and MPD is not schizophrenia. For fuck's sake!!! Was the author sloppy, lazy, or pandering to the ignorant masses?

I'm tempted to take away one gold star. But then I'm reminded of the hauntingly beautiful intro, the words tripping and sliding across the page:

"...a boy ran and fell and ran agai
Wow! I'm impressed! I have not read any of John Hart's previous novels (he has written four--The King of Lies, Down River, The Last Child and Iron House), I was lucky enough to receive the Advance Readers' Edition of this novel through goodreads giveaways, and once I started the book, I had to finish. He brought his characters alive in a manner that gives their lives believeability and intrigue. I do not want to spoil this story for you, so I am staying delibertly vague--the weaving of the effec ...more
Cindysu lent me this. Iron House is a great read. Lots of action, but smart too with some feeling. The story is a little over the top and characters out on the edge; you can see the movie in your mind as you read it (but these are not bad things if you want to be entertained!). The plot creates tension from the get go and keeps it going, while adding pieces of mystery along the way. I think the word "brooding" on the cover reviews is descriptive of the mood of some of the dark places the book ta ...more
All other stories on absolute hold until I finish ALL of John Hart's novel. Half way through Iron House, fabulous read, all the elements in a thriller I enjoy.... And after this one, I'm going all the way back and reading his very first novel, "The King of Lies."
When I'm done, I'll go back and finish the Paradise Trilogy... for now, John Hart is the Man!

9/10/12 ... had to set this one down for the time being as there's something more important to my life and spirit to read and partake of.....
IRON HOUSE (Pub. 2011) by John Hart is hands down the best book I've read this year. This is my first story by the author and I'm thrilled to have discovered it, although by accident, after pulling it off the library shelf at random simply because the title was interesting and the cover flap intrigued me.

I enjoyed this story so much it's hard to know where to start on what I liked best about it. It's a fantastic, fast-paced thriller coaster ride that is completely different than the typical thri
I've read 3 books by John Hart: Down River, Last Child and now Iron House. Each story is better than the last! He really outdid himself with Iron House. It is a fabulous read! This story captures your attention and holds it to the very end. He is one the most phenomenal writers out there today. Michael's story and how he gets from an orphanage to a mob family is outstanding. You sympathize and root for him. A must read!
Barbara ★
I haven't read anything else by John Hart but I will in the future. This book is absolutely riveting. I literally couldn't turn the pages fast enough. It displays a building tension that just keeps escalating until everything collides and explodes. I loved the complex family history that comes out in dribs and drabs. Parts sad, disgusting, brutal, sweet and even romantic. A little bit for everyone.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The Cypress House
  • Buried Secrets (Nick Heller, #2)
  • Dominance
  • The Survivor
  • The Bone House (Cab Bolton, #1)
  • The Stranger You Seek (Keye Street #1)
  • The Lock Artist
  • Dry Ice
  • Eyes Wide Open
  • Trespasser (Mike Bowditch, #2)
  • The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes
  • Long Gone
  • Wild Card (Tony Valentine #0.5)
  • A Young Wife
  • The Accident
  • Never Knowing
  • Blue Heaven
  • Adrenaline (Sam Capra, #1)
I was born in Durham, North Carolina in 1965, the son of a young surgeon and French teacher who quit teaching to raise her children. Eventually, I moved to Rowan County, where THE KING OF LIES and DOWN RIVER are both set, and on which the fictional Raven County is loosely based. My favorite memory of childhood is a five hundred acre farm that has since fallen to the sweeping tide of development th ...more
More about John Hart...
The Last Child Down River The King of Lies ラスト・チャイルド [Rasuto Chairudo] 2 Encountering ETI

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“We can live with doubts," Jessop said "It's the knowing that breaks us.” 1 likes
“I'm a killer, not a thief.” 0 likes
More quotes…