Iron House by John Hart
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Brutal. If I had to describe this book in one word, it would definitely be brutal. Two boys are found beside a creek and taken to an orphanage in North Carolina. While there the younger one, Julian, is brutalized by a group of older boys. The older brother, Michael protects him while he can, but isn't always there. Eventually the Julian stabs one of the boys and Michael takes the blame and runs away. Julian is adopted by a rich woman who arrives just as Michael is running away. She had come to the orphanage to adopt both boys. Michael grows up on the streets of NY and is eventually taken in by a mob boss and trained as an enforcer. When the old man dies, Michael wants out of the family because he is in love and his girl Elena is pregnant. The old man's son and his other enforcer aren't gonna let that happen. Elena can't handle the brutality she sees in Michael as they try to flee NY. Eventually they end up at the home of Julian's adoptive parents. The brutality gets worse and the mystery surrounding the brothers increases. Michael finds more questions than answers and he's eventually drawn back to Iron House the orphanage.
While I enjoyed the story and the mysteries in this novel, the brutality almost turned me off. I've named my favorite genre 'sick shit', but this was over the top brutal and not in a good way. Maybe I'm getting soft in my old age?
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