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The Last Child Audiobook

The Last Child

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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 (1434 )
5 star
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Overall
4.3 (784 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (794 )
5 star
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4 star
 (258)
3 star
 (99)
2 star
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1 star
 (33)
Performance
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  •  
    Kristina Prospect, KY 11-02-10
    Kristina Prospect, KY 11-02-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very good story. Horrible narration!!"

    I am just halfway through this book, and I will continue only because John Hart has written a very good story and I am hooked on it. However, I agree with others who say the narration is absolutely terrible. I'm not sure what Sowers was trying to accomplish, but it almost ruins the book. My 6-year-old grandson could do a better job!! I will avoid other books narrated by Scott Sowers, and that's a shame since Hart's book is good and perhaps I will avoid other good books simply because I fear the narration will be as painful as this!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilyn Northridge, CA, USA 06-07-09
    Marilyn Northridge, CA, USA 06-07-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unbearable Narration"

    In all the years I've been listening to books, I have never stopped in the middle due to the narration. However, in this case I had no choice. This is by far the most ridiculous and annoying narration I have come across. I found the story somewhat depressing, but certainly would have finished otherwise.

    18 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leesha Washington DC 12-24-12
    Leesha Washington DC 12-24-12

    Leesha

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    7
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    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. :(


    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Winston Salem, NC, United States 03-15-10
    William Winston Salem, NC, United States 03-15-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pretty good, if you're patient."

    This book took a long time to get started -- about six hours. If you're patient enough to wait that long the story eventually zips along with interesting twists and turns.
    About the reader -- yikes! I'm a lifelong North Carolinian and no one talks that way. If they did, I would move to Tennessee.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brina Car MI 10-30-09
    Brina Car MI 10-30-09 Listener Since 2001

    B.Car

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Book is Wonderful, Narration is Horrible!"

    The story is complelling and the characters wonderful and real. The narration takes so much away from the story that I often had to re-listen to sections because I started tuning the reader out. The over pronunciation will drive you nuts! Great story too bad it is killed by the narrater.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Skip New Hope, PA, United States 05-18-09
    Skip New Hope, PA, United States 05-18-09 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ruined by a normally good narrator"

    A four star story corrupted by a narrator who decided to pronounce the articles "a" and "the", "aay" and "thee". Bad enough he did it while narrating in the third person, but when he used it while portraying someone speaking in native back country Carolina dialect, it was too much. It was so annoying I had to take the story in spurts. He slipped at times and pronounced "the" correctly and just as I started to get lost in the story he would come back with something like "aay cat jumped from thee wall onto thee floor". It was like listening to a first grader read see spot run. The article "a" is pronounced "uh". The word "decide" is pronounced "dehcide", not "deecide". It was worse than saying "nucular" instead of nuclear. It was so blatantly forced that I can't help but wonder if he was made to do it, as I have listed to other narrations by Scott Sowers and enjoyed them very much. This is a very good story and a very good author, but I would recommend the hard copy over this childish attempt at literacy.

    33 of 43 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Johnson Texas 06-08-16
    A. Johnson Texas 06-08-16

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The narrator is horrible but"

    This is an awesome book but the narrator all but ruins it. This is one time I recommend reading it over listening.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 06-08-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "last child"

    The story was good but the narrator was awful,he sounded like a third grader, I barely got to the end of the book,he was so hard to listen to







    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lemons 02-10-14
    Lemons 02-10-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The narration detracts from the story"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This dark and sad tale was a little slow to get started and somewhat overlong. I am glad I stayed with it - the pace picked up in the last third.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Johnny Merriman is determined to get to the bottom of what happened to his twin sister Alyssa. Her disappearance destroyed their family unit and his mother has sunk into depression, exacerbated by her relationship with abusive Ken Holloway. Johnny has had to grow up fast - he takes care of the home and his mother. Nevertheless, his thinking is too mature for a thirteen year old.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I agree with many reviewers that Scott Sowers narration was appalling. His accent complemented the Southern style and vernacular, but his enunciation was uneven. Within a single paragraph, he would alternate between pronouncing "a" and "the" as "ah" and "thuh", then switch to "ay" and "thee" sounding like a 3rd grader, breaking words into too many syllables. I was so irritated by this that I had to replay sections, because I lost the thread of the story.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Last Child?

    I would not have cut out scenes, per se, just shortened them. Without giving too much away, there is a scene where Hart tries to intervene in the arrest if his partner. This went on and on, with repeated "Step asides", followed by "No" from Hart, to the point where I could happily have thrown it in the bin.


    Any additional comments?

    I will read more of John Hart, but will avoid Scott Sowers at all costs.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 05-25-13
    Jan 05-25-13 Member Since 2011

    Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gripping read... even with audio issue..."

    I had read the posts about narration so was pleasantly surprised as the narration started. The plot was action packed, sucking me right in and making my spring clean project enjoyable. I normally would be working to suspend my disbelief with this convoluted of a plot... but was enjoying it so much and the author had me wrapped right around his characters...I believed every word. I want to go for a weekend visit and see how they are doing now it is all over. Yes there is a audio snafu... I don't believe it is the reader... I think the sound engineers settings are off for about 30 minutes in the middle of the book (honestly, its physically impossible to read that bad) and yes that time period is more than irritating, but it is over before long. The book is worth enduring the irritation though. Profanity is very limited, found it a clean read despite difficult topic. Beautiful weaving of community members and families with complex issues stemming from disappearance of young girl a year ago and her twin brothers obsessive determination to find her.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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