Hardcastle: A Novel

Open Road Media
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“From now on, there are bound to be two classics of the Great Depression—The Grapes of Wrath and Hardcastle.” —Los Angeles Times

In 1931 William Music is making his way back home to Virginia when he hops off a freight train in Switch County, Kentucky, to find something to eat. For eleven cents—all the money in his pocket—he buys a soda bottle’s worth of moonshine. Farther down the road, he takes two turnips and a handful of string beans from a kitchen garden and beds down for the night in a haystack. It is still dark out when he wakes up to a dog licking his forehead and a man pointing a pistol in his face.

Despite the awkward introduction, Music and Regus Bone are soon friends. Bone is a guard at Hardcastle Coal Co., whose owner will do anything to keep his employees from unionizing. For the irresistible wage of three dollars a day, Music—outfitted with an ancient, misfiring revolver and a holster made from a feed sack—hires on as a watchman despite his queasy feelings about the job. His attraction to the young widow of a miner killed by a former guard only deepens his discomfort, and when he and Bone catch a pair of union organizers, they make a decision that will change their lives and Switch County forever.

Inspired by real events, Hardcastle is a stirring tribute to the power of friendship and family in a time and place in which the price of integrity is more than a man on his own can bear.
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About the author

John Yount is the author of five critically acclaimed novels: Wolf at the DoorThe Trapper’s Last Shot, Hardcastle, Toots in Solitude, and Thief of Dreams. A longtime professor at the University of New Hampshire, he has been the recipient of grants from the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts. According to John Irving, Yount is “a completely original voice in contemporary American fiction.”
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Additional Information

Open Road Media
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Published on
Oct 14, 2014
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Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Psychological
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The tender, engaging story of a family in pain and a boy whose quest for courage leads him deep into the wilds of Appalachia

In 1948 Madeline Tally leaves her philandering husband and returns home to North Carolina, where she and her thirteen-year-old son, James, move into an ugly purple trailer in the cow pasture behind her father’s farmhouse. Smart and sensitive, James worries that he is somehow responsible for his parents’ separation and feels out of place in the town where he grew up but has not been back to for five years. None of his old friends have time for him anymore, and his only new one is Lester Buck, a poor, peculiar boy who shares James’s love of the outdoors.

In Pittsburgh, Edward Tally spends his nights drinking with his fellow construction workers in the bar downstairs from his new apartment. He tries to tell himself that he is better off without Madeline and James, that he wants to be his own man again, free of the expectations that he was never able to meet. But there is a burden on his heart that cannot be eased by booze or by Paris Pergola, the seductive, moody blonde he has taken up with.

Told from the alternating perspectives of the three Tallys, Thief of Dreams builds to a stunning climax as Edward comes to North Carolina to try to win back his family, and James and Lester get into a vicious fight with a schoolyard bully. With his friend in the hospital and his parents unable to bridge the divide between them, James heads into the frozen forest. What he discovers there will give him enough wisdom and experience to last a lifetime, if he can only make it back to his family alive.

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“Obsessed.” —Jessica Knoll, New York Times bestselling author of Luckiest Girl Alive

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Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.

In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice…
Meet Jane Hawk—a remarkable new heroine certain to become an icon of suspense. “This gripping thriller grabs readers from the first few pages and sweeps them along to the rousing finale.”—Booklist

“I very much need to be dead.”

These are the chilling words left behind by a man who had everything to live for—but took his own life. In the aftermath, his widow, Jane Hawk, does what all her grief, fear, and fury demand: find the truth, no matter what.

People of talent and accomplishment, people admired and happy and sound of mind, have been committing suicide in surprising numbers. When Jane seeks to learn why, she becomes the most-wanted fugitive in America. Her powerful enemies are protecting a secret so important—so terrifying—that they will exterminate anyone in their way.

But all their power and viciousness may not be enough to stop a woman as clever as they are cold-blooded, as relentless as they are ruthless—and who is driven by a righteous rage they can never comprehend. Because it is born of love.

Don’t miss any of Dean Koontz’s gripping Jane Hawk thrillers:

Praise for The Silent Corner

“Gripping . . . The paranoia and mystery increase as the story unfolds. . . . Koontz has created [a] wonderful character in Jane Hawk. . . . Koontz rocks it again.”—Associated Press
“In this era of stingy text-message prose, Mr. Koontz is practically Shakespeare. . . . The Silent Corner brims with both action and emotion.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“The Silent Corner is vintage Dean Koontz: paranoia-fueled suspense . . . sleek and highly realized action, developed characters, and more twists and turns than any two ordinary novels combined. . . . As relevant to current events as it is audacious . . . amongst Dean Koontz’s finest contemporary work.”—Mystery Scene
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A powerhouse novel about an idealistic young man’s return to a rural Southern town simmering with prejudice and anger

Separation papers in hand, Beau Jim Early sets out one hot, dry August morning in 1960 from Fort Jackson, South Carolina, for his brother’s farm in Cocke County, Georgia. After six years in the army, civilian life is not as easy as it looks. In short order, Beau Jim gets conned by a shoe-shine boy, buys a Studebaker with bad brakes, and spends nearly every cent of the $400 he won in a crap game the night before.

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A spellbinding tale of decent people fighting for their lives in a world overrun with poverty and ignorance, The Trapper’s Last Shot is vintage John Yount—forceful, finely crafted, and absolutely unforgettable.
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