The Last Child
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... read more 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.
Thirteen year old Johnny is doing it tough. His twin sister has vanished, his father has shot through and his beautiful mother spends her days doped up to the eyeballs and her nights being a punching bag for a bad man. In the space of a year Johnny's life has fallen apart. The police investigation has been shelved and so Johnny decides it’s up to him to find his sister and knit his broken family back together. With the help of his only friend, Jack, Johnny cuts school to go house to house, hoping someone, somewhere has the vital clue that will lead him to his sister. Then Johnny finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and witnesses the murder of a man who with his dying breath tells Johnny he has found ‘the girl that was taken’. With the help of a couple of very unlikely sidekicks, including a kindly detective and a three hundred pound escaped convict, Johnny begins to unravel the mystery surrounding his sister's disappearance. Cracking page turner with a host of marvellous characters and a very satisfying twist at the end.
16 Feb 2011 12:48:19 | Melissa Willis