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Publisher's Summary

Fresh off the success of his Edgar® Award-winning, New York Times best seller Down River, John Hart returns with his most powerful and intricately-plotted novel yet. Thirteen year-old Johnny Merrimon had the perfect life: happy parents and a twin sister that meant the world to him. But Alyssa went missing a year ago, stolen off the side of a lonely street with only one witness to the crime. His family shattered, his sister presumed dead, Johnny risks everything to explore the dark side of his hometown in a last, desperate search. What he finds is a city with an underbelly far blacker than anyone could've imagined - and somewhere in the depths of it all, with the help of his only friend and a giant of a man with his own strange past, Johnny, at last, finds the terrible truth.

Detective Clyde Hunt has devoted an entire year to Alyssa's case, and it shows: haunted and sleepless, he's lost his wife and put his shield at risk. But he can't put the case behind him - he won't - and when another girl goes missing, the failures of the past year harden into iron determination. Refusing to lose another child, Hunt knows he has to break the rules to make the case; and maybe, just maybe, the missing girl will lead him to Alyssa...

The Last Child is a tale of boundaries: county borders and circles on a map, the hard edge between good and evil, life and death, hopelessness and faith. Perfectly blending character and plot, emotion and action, John Hart again transcends the barrier between thrillers and literature to craft a story as heartrending as it is redemptive.

©2009 John Hart (P)2009 Macmillan Audio

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth
  • 19-09-2009

Great Story

This is a great story with several twists that certainly caught me out. Its setting is excellent as is the character development and a tension and urgency throughout the story leading right up to its conclusion. The narration takes a while to get used to but is gritty and wholly representative of the setting - it works really well and is compelling to listen to.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-09-2011

Great story, wonderfully narrated

On the amazon reviews someone complained that this book was depressing. Well reading the synopsis should make it clear that it's a pretty heavy plotline.

It's a wonderful book. Good plot, fantasticly evocative, and while sections of it were really dark or made me want to go straight home and hug my children, i found it strangely inspirational.

I enjoyed the different layers within the book, it doesn't just jump around characters becasue it feels it needs to, the flow is good and even when some authors may have finished the book, this book keeps on going and in the end you feel like the author actually finished the book - and didn't just feel like he'd done enough to keep his publishers happy so could rush off and do something else.

I thought the narrator was excellent as well, and his style really suited the material. Managing the full range of styles required. Extremely enjoyable

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kirstine
  • 01-08-2011

Slow start and then takes off

I found the beginning of the book a bit slow to capture my attention but thereafter the story took off and I was gripped by the twists and turns in the narrative. The reader is excellent and really brings the characters alive. At times I found the author's descriptive prose over-burdened with similes that slowed the action and I found myself wishing he'd just get on with the story. However, overall I enjoyed the book and thought it was well-plotted and held my attention to the end as I was eager to find out the final denouement.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Elinor Dashwood
  • 15-06-2011

Wonderful, clever and haunting!

I can't rave highly enough about this book. It was so cleverly plotted and written - even when you think you know whodunnit, you'll still be suprised. It was a haunting evocation of childhood and parenting, and the narrator was excellent. A great investment of a credit!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cabaspre
  • 18-01-2011

Excellent twists and turns

A beautifully read book. The narrator was perfect for all the different accents and even portrayed adolescent boys superbly. It was so well written I could imagine every scene, every character and every second of suspense. I can thoroughly recommend this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Joe
  • 07-04-2013

Good read

This was a well paced mystery novel that grabbed my attention from the beginning and didn't let go until the last page. It was nicely paced, clever, and definitely fulfilled its promise of being a thriller. I very much like the Washington Post’s description of this as "Huck Finn channeled through Lord of the Flies".



Some of the characters are a bit flat, even clichéd, but the key characters are well drawn and interesting. The plot leads down various roads where no shortage of villains are found, and some dark subjects too. This combined with the age (thirteen) of some key characters makes believability an issue. Indeed some of the dialogue and actions of the younger protagonists seem to stretch credulity. But in the end I was able to suspect disbelief and be swept up in the story.



The writing style was enjoyable, with highly readable prose throughout, though a little overloaded with adjectives at every description - I lost count of how many times 'oily' was used to describe a taste, smell, feel, sound.



Not an exceptional book, but definitely well worth reading, and a must read for crime/thriller/mystery fans.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Janice
  • 02-03-2012

The Last Child by John Hart

Really enjoyed, sometimes had to stay up very late for by bedtime story, just needed to know what happened next!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs
  • 22-12-2011

So disappointing

I started this book with high expectations as it had so many good reviews but half way through I very nearly gave up. I had three main problems.
The narrator's voice was flat and even paced and at times he sounded as if he didn't understand what he was reading. The text wasn't given life or pace and he failed to create a personality to the characters. It was very hard to distinguish between them. As for the writing. The text was incredibly repetitive and the first half was far too long for the content which focussed again, and again, and again on eyes and fragiity. Eventually the last part of the second half got going and had some pace. And the story? At the end of the book when everything was revealed a crucial part just didn't make sense. An overwhelming disappointment.,