The Unwilling

St. Martin’s. Jun. 2020. 384p. ISBN 9781250167729. $27.99. M
In 1972, at the height of the Vietnam War, Gibson “Gibby” French is about to graduate from his North Carolina high school. Both of Gibby’s older brothers have been to war. Robert was killed in action; Jason returned—but as a shattered man who descended into a life of drugs and violence. After being released from a 27-month prison term, Jason, against the wishes of their parents, seeks to reconnect with Gibby. They spend a day together enjoying some whiskey and the company of two women, Tyra and Sara. But shortly afterward, Tyra is found brutally murdered. Jason is arrested for the crime and sent back to prison. Gibby is determined to prove his brother’s innocence, but he must grapple with powerful forces that are targeting Jason. When Sara disappears, Gibby looks to save her and find the true killer.
VERDICT Edgar Award–winning Hart (The Hush) offers another propulsive crime novel that features fully realized, multifaceted characters and a strong sense of place. [See Prepub Alert, 11/25/19.]

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