Iron House, by John Hart, is suspenseful and bleak thriller that never lets up the pressure on the reader. It starts with two ragged, ill-treated brothers, in a nightmarish orphanage called Iron House. The weak brother, Julian, is tortured mercilessly by a gang of young psychopaths, until he snaps and kills one of them. His older, tougher brother, Michael, takes the blame and runs away, eventually making a violent life for himself as a mob enforcer. Julian is adopted by a beautiful senator’s wife, whose intense devotion to him is born of her own dark and tormented past. When Michael tries to break from the mob, a torrent of violence ensues, threatening Michael, the woman he loves, and Julian, whose fragile mental state suggests that his first murder was not his last. The ever-increasing tension that builds is combined with a heartbreaking backstory of childhood abuse and terror, and makes Iron House a memorable read.