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The Last Child by John Hart

The Last Child (edition 2010)

by John Hart (Author)

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1,8221815,590 (4.06)164
Title:The Last Child
Authors:John Hart (Author)
Info:Minotaur Books (2010), 432 pages
Collections:Untitled collection

Work details

The Last Child by John Hart

  1. 20
    Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (jlparent)
    jlparent: Both are rather dark and disturbing in tone and plotlines. Also try Flynn's "Dark Places" in a similar vein.
  2. 10
    Blacklands by Belinda Bauer (terran)
    terran: A young boy searches for the body of a relative and is involved in finding the killer.
  3. 22
    The Client by John Grisham (VictoriaPL)
  4. 00
    Judas Child by Carol O'Connell (VictoriaPL)

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Showing 1-5 of 180 (next | show all)
13-year-old Johnny is still recovering from his twin sister's disappearance a year earlier. His family has fallen apart -- his father has left and his mother lives in a haze of drug-induced semi-consciousness. His sister's disappearance is technically still an open case, but the police have no active leads. Thus, Johnny has taken it upon himself to scour the county, looking for clues in the hope that he might still find his sister alive.

This is an above-average suspenseful thriller. The story has a cast of characters, the two main being Johnny and the lead detective on the case, Detective Hunt, with the action fluctuating between the two. It's a somewhat fresh perspective to see a crime case being driven by a 13-year-old, yet it wasn't wholly unrealistic and the several plot twists kept me engaged throughout the entire story. Overall, an engaging read. ( )
  indygo88 | Nov 23, 2018 |
This is a thriller. There's lots of danger and it all builds to a dramatic conclusion. The last child is Johnny Merriman, a twelve year old boy whose twin sister disappeared a year earlier and whose family disintegrated as a result, with his father leaving and his mother retreating into alcohol and pills. He's lost his house and he's an outcast at school, his only friend being a police officer's son whose mangled arm makes him a pariah both at school and at home, where his older brother has just received a football scholarship. He spends his time avoiding his mother's abusive boyfriend and hunting for his sister's kidnapper. His sister's disappearance has also weighed down the lead detective on the investigation, whose wife divorced him and a son he's in the process of losing as he ignores him in favor of chasing down one more tenuous lead or checking up on the girl's family. And then another girl disappears.

This is a fast-paced thriller designed to entertain, and Hart does a good job keeping things moving. He also paints a vivid picture of a very specific part of North Carolina, both the landscape and history. This is also a book full of giant plot holes and convenient stereo-types, but not so much as to make the book hard to read. I was not enamored with a few aspects of the novel's treatment of women, who were either impediments and mockable, or delicate flowers incapable of strength or fortitude. But not a terrible book overall. ( )
  RidgewayGirl | Aug 15, 2018 |
I have to start by saying that I could not even finish this one. I started the book on July 24 and today is August 6 and I was only able to get through 175 of 350 pages.

I simply did not care about ANY of the charaacters. There is a missing 12 year old girl, her twin brother, her mother who hooked up with the town sleaze ball and is now hooked on pain killers, father who left town, the detective, the twin brother's friend...and so on and so on and son. None of them were likeable or believeable.

I did like that the chapters were short and for a short time I felt like I was making some progress.

I can't recommend this for anyone. ( )
  PamV | Mar 27, 2018 |
A compelling read of loss, anger, fear, and murder. Johnny is just a child, but he is a child searching for his kidnapped twin sister and aided by a detective possessed of the same relentless need to find Alyssa. Then another young girl goes missing.
The characters are clearly drawn, especially the giant of a child man. The setting is detailed and atmospheric. There are red herrings in plenty, but the plot is tightly controlled and moves along at a ever increasing pace

Very good and engrossing.

Read 1/18. Also read in w2010 ( )
  walkerff | Jan 27, 2018 |
I have not yet read this book.
  LynneQuan | Sep 21, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 180 (next | show all)
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This book is for Nancy and Bill Stanback, Annie and John Hart, and Kay and Norde Wilson. Parents, friends, trusted advisors.
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Asphalt cut the country like a scar, a long, hot burn of razor-black.
Darkness is a cancer of the human heart.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312642369, Paperback)

Winner of the 2010 Edgar Award for Best Novel

John Hart’s New York Times bestselling debut, The King of Lies, announced the arrival of a major talent. With Down River, he surpassed his earlier success, transcending the barrier between thriller and literature and winning the 2008 Edgar Award for best novel. Now, with The Last Child, he achieves his most significant work to date, an intricate, powerful story of loss, hope, and courage in the face of evil.

Thirteen year-old Johnny Merrimon had the perfect life: a warm home and loving parents; a twin sister, Alyssa, with whom he shared an irreplaceable bond. He knew nothing of loss, until the day Alyssa vanished from the side of a lonely street. Now, a year later, Johnny finds himself isolated and alone, failed by the people he’d been taught since birth to trust. No one else believes that Alyssa is still alive, but Johnny is certain that she is---confident in a way that he can never fully explain.

Determined to find his sister, Johnny risks everything to explore the dark side of his hometown. It is a desperate, terrifying search, but Johnny is not as alone as he might think. Detective Clyde Hunt has never stopped looking for Alyssa either, and he has a soft spot for Johnny. He watches over the boy and tries to keep him safe, but when Johnny uncovers a dangerous lead and vows to follow it, Hunt has no choice but to intervene.

Then a second child goes missing . . .

Undeterred by Hunt’s threats or his mother’s pleas, Johnny enlists the help of his last friend, and together they plunge into the wild, to a forgotten place with a history of violence that goes back more than a hundred years. There, they meet a giant of a man, an escaped convict on his own tragic quest. What they learn from him will shatter every notion Johnny had about the fate of his sister; it will lead them to another far place, to a truth that will test both boys to the limit.

Traveling the wilderness between innocence and hard wisdom, between hopelessness and faith, The Last Child leaves all categories behind and establishes John Hart as a writer of unique power.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:08 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

After his twin sister Alyssa disappears, thirteen year-old Johnny Merrimon is determined to find her. When a second girl disappears from his rural North Carolina town, Johnny makes a discovery that sends shock waves through the community in this multi-layered tale of broken families and deadly secrets.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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