'Bookwatch': John Hart Discusses New Novel
Work has wrestled with inner demons for most of his life, especially after the death of his mother and the disappearance of his wealthy father, Ezra Pickens, a highly successful lawyer who took him into his practice.
When Work Pickens finds his father murdered, the investigation pushes a repressed family history to the surface, and he sees his own carefully constructed facade begin to crack.
On an episode of UNC-TV's local literary series, "North Carolina Bookwatch," airing Friday, July 14, at 9:30 p.m., Hart explains to host D.G. Martin how he created a literary thriller that is as suspenseful as it is poignant -- a riveting murder mystery layered beneath the Southern drawl of a humble North Carolina lawyer.
"While he was raised wealthy, 'Work' cares more about meaning, while his father cared more about power and the rise to prominence," says Hart. "This is a major source of tension between the two characters as the book unfolds."
Hart, a Durham native who grew up in Salisbury, exhibits a mastery of prose and plot that belie his newcomer status. An illuminating anatomy of a murder and the ripple effect it produces within a family and a community, the Salisbury-based book "The King of Lies" is a stunning debut, and now New York Times Bestseller, revealed to be a bold work with Rowan County roots.
"You take a risk when you set a book in your small hometown. Everybody is going to look through 'The King of Lies' to recognize characters and they're going to wonder if I've worked some of my real-life acquaintances into the story," says Hart. "There's a thin line that weaves through the book, with fiction on one side and fact on the other. And I'll never tell where that line is."
John Hart was born in Durham in 1965. He lived there for seven years before moving to Salisbury. In 1989, he graduated from Davidson College with a degree in French literature; he then earned a master's degree in accounting from UNC-Chapel Hill and a law degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center. Hart is currently hard at work on his second novel.
An encore episode will air Sunday, July 16, at 5 p.m.
For more information about additional series guests and airdates, plus the all-new Bookwatch blog and online book club, visit www.unctv.org/ncbookwatch.
Funding for the program is provided by UNC-TV members and by Quail Ridge Books and Music, Raleigh's independent, full-service bookstore, bringing readers and writers together since 1984.
"North Carolina Bookwatch" is part of UNC-TV's ongoing commitment to produce programs for and about North Carolina. UNC-TV is the statewide 11-station broadcast network of the University of North Carolina.
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