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The Last Child | [John Hart]

The Last Child

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.
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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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1145 )
5 star
 (460)
4 star
 (413)
3 star
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2 star
 (65)
1 star
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Overall
4.2 (512 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (520 )
5 star
 (215)
4 star
 (183)
3 star
 (70)
2 star
 (28)
1 star
 (24)
Performance
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  •  
    Christine Birdsboro, Panama 10-19-09
    Christine Birdsboro, Panama 10-19-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Stick With It!"

    This is one of THE most compelling books I have read in a very, very long time. It took me 6 or 7 tries to get past the first 30 minutes due to the narrator, but once the story thread is picked up, you just can't stop listening. The only reason I gave 4 stars is due to the narration. So, stick with it! As far as plots and storylines go, this book is a winner.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 10-28-10
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 10-28-10 Member Since 2010

    Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2218
    ratings
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    200
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    3
    Overall
    "Good story poorly read"

    Because of the number of negative comments about the quality of the reader I listened to the sample before downloading this title. It didn't seem so bad in the sample, but I admit that by the time I got half way through listening, I was worn out with a false southern accent of no known region that I'm familiar with -certainly not a North Carolinian sound. Worse, the cadence of reading one-word-at-a-time instead of reading sentences with comprehension and insight made it a difficult listen. I stuck with it because the story is worth it. I would strongly recommend it as a book, not so much as an audio book.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LaLectora Germany 08-28-09
    LaLectora Germany 08-28-09

    Mash-m

    HELPFUL VOTES
    74
    ratings
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    42
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    Overall
    "Choices and consequences in the face of adversity"

    The last child is heart wrenching tale of a young boy searching for his abucted sister; of the dangers he faces while searching for her in dangerous places; and of thefriends and unlikely allies that join him in his search and his fight for surviving abuse and dangerous enemies encountered while protecting what is left of a mother unable to cope with the tragedy and who is no longer aware that he still needs her love and protection. If you ever wondered what happens to people touched by a heinous crime after the reporters leave town?; of how investigators forever haunted deal with their failure to find the victims? of what happens to the lifes of survivors that have no closure?, of if a decision can forever change the life all those touched by a tragic event?, of what is the value of one child's life measured against the future of your own child? of what is the "right choice" if you question where your loyalties lie? So if you ever wonder about those questions then you will like this book. I for once did not guess the complete solution which made the book even better.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leesha Washington DC 12-24-12
    Leesha Washington DC 12-24-12

    Leesha

    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    453
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Story Now Find a Narrator With a REAL"
    What didn’t you like about Scott Sowers’s performance?

    This is a great story, but I could only stand to listen to it in small intervals.

    Why?

    Every time this narrator speaks in his overly-exaggerate Southern drawl I feel vaguely ill.

    This story takes place in North Carolina. I lived in North Carolina for many years. Most of my family members live in various parts of North Carolina, including the Sandhills, Piedmont, etc.. None of them sound anything like this annoying guy!!

    Exaggerated accents are jarring and as off-putting as nails on a chalkboard to people familiar with the accent. What's frustrating is, this is a great plot and such an exciting story but I have to keep shutting it off when I can't take it anymore!

    Narrators and actors: if you can't "do" an accent well enough to fool the people from that area, please just speak in your regular speaking voice!

    I hope I can eventually finish this book. :(


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol B. 07-29-09
    Carol B. 07-29-09

    Reader & Wordsmith

    HELPFUL VOTES
    60
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    289
    20
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    1
    Overall
    "This book deserves the 5 star rating"

    Rarely do I rate a book a five. But this one deserves it. Good character development ... lots of twists in the story line. I was sorry to get to the end. I got so involved in the characters, I find I want to know more details about how they got past all the tradegy.

    Well written!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russ Potomac, MA, USA 06-03-09
    Russ Potomac, MA, USA 06-03-09 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
    ratings
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    247
    6
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    1
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    Overall
    "annoyed"

    ...one of the few I have ever given up on without finishing, not because the story was so bad, but because the narration was annoying. Perfect diction is not the most important consideration...in fact too much precision can set your nerves on edge and is many times accompanied by an emotionless tone.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisabeth Durham, NC, United States 06-01-09
    Elisabeth Durham, NC, United States 06-01-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    262
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    463
    84
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    3
    Overall
    "An audio "page turner""

    I really enjoyed The Last Child. This murder mystery rollicked along with interesting characters. Amazing how many bad things can happen in one little Southern town. My only negative was that I found the narrator some how distracting for the first few hours. Though it takes a fair dose of willing suspension of disbelief, it is an engrossing story. A good listen for the car.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Enid, OK, USA 06-24-09
    Diane Enid, OK, USA 06-24-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    758
    6
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    1
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    Overall
    "Never again..."

    As much as I enjoyed this book, I will never listen to another audiobook read by Scott Sowers. After a short time his narration was like nails on a chalkboard. It was all I could do to finish. Fortunately John Hart wrote a great book despite the horrid narration.

    16 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 05-16-09
    Michael 05-16-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
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    604
    6
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    Overall
    "great book"

    Very well written with a multifaceted storyline. It is nice to read an author who does not feel he has to portray lurid details in order to paint a vivid picture. I highly recommend this book.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Collinsville, OK, United States 07-11-09
    Kevin Collinsville, OK, United States 07-11-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "A good listen"

    I enjoyed this book very much on a long car trip. I didn't have any of the troubles that other reviewers had with the reader's diction and style. Other than a few "again's" pronounced with a long "a" he read very well, particularly the vocal changes for the various characters. The plot is complex and engaging without being difficult to follow. It was a good companion for the trip.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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