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The Last Child by John Hart
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The Last Child (edition 2010)

by John Hart

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1,5241734,831 (4.07)145
Member:joannemonck
Title:The Last Child
Authors:John Hart
Info:Minotaur Books (2010), Edition: 1 Reprint, Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

The Last Child by John Hart

  1. 10
    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. 00
    Blacklands by Belinda Bauer (terran)
    terran: A young boy searches for the body of a relative and is involved in finding the killer.
  3. 00
    Judas Child by Carol O'Connell (VictoriaPL)
  4. 12
    The Client by John Grisham (VictoriaPL)
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Showing 1-5 of 171 (next | show all)
Really enjoyed the characters in this book. Not a subject matter I usually go for, but the main characters really came to life. I could picture Johnny and Jack almost like I was watching a movie. Added to that were some unexpected twists and turns that really kept me interested. A very enjoyable read. ( )
  NHNick | May 21, 2016 |
John Hart is a master, hands down. I'd managed to read three of his first four books but realized when waiting for the release of his 5th, Redemption Road, that somehow I'd missed The Last Child.

The Last Child tells the heart-wrenching tale of what happens to the people left behind when a child disappears. Johnny Merrimon, 13, can't stop searching for his twin sister, Alyssa, a year after her disappearance that has ripped his family apart. His father abandoned him and his mother, over guilt and blame for forgetting to pick Alyssa up the day she disappeared. His mother, the town beauty, distraught over the loss of both her daughter and husband, allows herself to be controlled and abused, and by the local multi-millionaire narcissist, leaving Johnny to fend for himself.

Johnny continues to look for his sister, going house to house, interviewing the entire county and keeping an eye on the top bad guys in town. Detective Hunt, still feeling the sting of not being able to bring Alyssa home, tries to keep Johnny out of trouble. A major clue literally falls at Johnny's feet in the form of a dying man claiming he "found her" ramps up his efforts with renewed fervor. With the help of Johnny's best, and only, friend Jack the two town outcasts find themselves in one horrific situation after another with Detective Hunt constantly one-step behind them.

This book you will not be able to put down. The many characters that Johnny and Detective Hunt come in contact with are are so well-crafted. No more so than Issac Freemantle (a role made for Michael Clarke Duncan if there ever was one). I would say the mother is the only character that I really had a hard time believing and was lacking. The plot twists and turns will keep you guessing as the bodies stack up and there is no want for suspects. The books' ending is so well done you will be sad that it's over. ( )
  she_climber | Apr 25, 2016 |
A bit long winded - I think several pages could have been removed and there would have been no loss of story continuity. ( )
  kerbytejas | Mar 25, 2016 |
I couldn't finish it. Too hard to follow and parts were a little dry. Didn't captivate me like I hoped it would. ( )
  imagine15 | Mar 15, 2016 |
When 13 year old Alyssa Merrimon vanished one day, her disappearance shattered several people's lives, especially her parents who each sought different means to blunt the grief - the mother who turned to drugs to deaden the pain and the father, who left the family to run away from the pain. Johnny, Alyssa's twin brother, believing that Alyssa was still alive began to systematically investigate the small North Carolina town and its residents for clues to Alyssa's whereabouts. Johnny began his investigation after the failure of the local police to find his sister, a fact that haunts Detective Clyde Hunt, whose obsession over this case drove his wife away and threatens his relationship with his son.

It is a shame that this book set unread for so long in my bookcase. This Edgar Award Winner would have become a new favorite read much earlier. ( )
  John_Warner | Jan 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 171 (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.
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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)

» see all 3 descriptions

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