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Publisher's Summary

"The tension in Hart’s story never lets up, and you’ll find yourself unable to break away - disc after disc (or page after page) - long past your bedtime." (NJ.com)

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 best-selling 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)

©2020 John Hart (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about The Unwilling

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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Amazing Book! Why isn't it listed in new releases?

John Hart is an incredible author. He writes with originality. I look forward to each new release by Mr. Hart. It is a shame Audible has not included this book under the New Release options. I once depended on that section for upcoming books, but find more and more of the authors I enjoy do not have their new releases highlighted. The three ratings at 3.7 stars have no explanation. Don't let that deter you from listening to a story that will draw you in from the beginning.

16 people found this helpful

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Joh Hart

John Hart is one of my favorite authors. In a author’s note at the end of the book, he quotes CJ Box’s review of the book. It describes his style of writing so accurately. He is an author who I listen to his books again and again. Kudos to Kevin Stillwell on his narration. That is always the determining factor whether I’ll listen on Audible or read the book.

10 people found this helpful

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Riveting!!!!

This book was amazing from beginning to end!!! The story had me on the edge of my seat anticipating what was to come next. John Hart is an amazing author and I believe this is his best work yet!! Can't wait for his next Novel!!

8 people found this helpful

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Another must read from John Hart

The Unwilling is a rich and enjoyable thriller with a powerful story, including complicated protagonists and villains with equally perplexing characteristics. We are taken to Charlotte, North Carolina, during the early 70s, where a family is torn apart by the Vietnam War. The details will induce nostalgia while the reflection on a divided nation resonates with modern times. The story develops around dark images and real social issues, but the protagonist's brave yet innocent actions counter and balance the novel's weight.
Kevin Stillwell's narration is brilliant while skillfully delivering multiple dimensions of John Hart's work and allowing characters to come to life.
Gordon J Campbell, Author of the Courier

6 people found this helpful

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John Hart continues to outdo himself.

Amazing how this man can tackle different topics with the most awesome descriptions to make one feel they are there. The narrator was excellent and I wholeheartedly recommend this book - This is the fifth book I have read by this author, I have enjoyed each one very much.

5 people found this helpful

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Beyond compelling

I have listened to several hundred titles dating back to pre-Amazon membership. Many were good but I’ve seldom written reviews. This book was so compelling that I needed to add my thoughts. John Hart’s uncanny ability to pen such a blend of darkest evil and brightest heroism - of flawed protagonists and weirdly intriguing villains - is rare. Some of the scenes conjure visions of Thomas Harris but most are more James Lee Burke. Overall, though, Mr. Hart sets his own standard.

Highly recommended, though not for the faint hearted.

4 people found this helpful

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Captured

This book had captured my undivided attention from start to finish. I couldn't put it down. It felt like I was there and although I can't relate to what all happened, it expanded my mind to feel what it must had been like for those individuals in the story. To sum it up, it was jaw dropping on so many levels. Not one for the faint of heart.

2 people found this helpful

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A Thriller With Character

This is a fantastic book. I live in the Pacific Northwest but have always been drawn to southern writers. It's so interesting to delve into the rhythm and culture of another place and in the case of The Unwilling, another time period too. Couple that with layered characters that you root for, the backdrop of the Vietnam War, coming of age and some really bad dudes and you have a thriller of the highest order by one of the great voices in Southern literature.

So many thrillers are just cookie cutter tripe that you can literally skip chunks of. When a chase or fight scene starts you can just skip ahead, because you know the hero will come out on top. Give me a character based story with twists, turns and emotional drama any day and that's what this book is and Kevin Stillwell is spot on in his narration from page one.

My only complaint about this book is that it ended and I have to wait for the next John Hart offering.



2 people found this helpful

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Warning: very grisly murder

I stopped listening after only a few chapters. I saw lots of stars in the reviews and I guess I didn’t read carefully enough that this is a very rough book. It’s about prison brutality and has a very graphic description of a woman being tortured and killed. As if the first description wasn’t enough, then the story visits the medical examiner who describes it again. And you get to hear about it one more time when the thugs who committed the crime bring Polaroids to the guy who ordered the murder. And then I was done.

I like to listen to books to fall asleep. Eeek not this one!

1 person found this helpful

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  • 01-24-22

Very Enjoyable!!!

Completely awesome. Well written and narrated. The characters were realistic, and funny at times.

1 person found this helpful