Title: The Last Child
Author: John Hart
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: March 2009
Paperback: 432 pages
Well! This was certainly more of an intense read than I anticipated. The prose was wonderful, the story complex, rich, and intriguing.
Johnny Merrimon is the protagonist. He lives with his mother, Katherine, a once-beautiful soccer mom type, now drug-addicted and alcoholic. Johnny’s father left nearly a year ago when the book begins, right around the time of his twin sister, Alyssa’s, abduction. Johnny is a scared little boy, coping with the life that he’s been thrust into in the only way he knows how – by fighting back. He takes it upon himself to track down his sister’s kidnapper when Detective Hunt, the lead on the case, is unable to do it. Johnny believes that if he can just bring Alyssa home that his father will return and they will be a happy family once again. Other notable characters are Katherine’s rich, abusive boyfriend Ken, Johnny’s best friend Jack, and…one of my favorites…Levi Freemantle. Levi is, by far, the most honest and true-to-himself character in the book, and I absolutely fell in love with him.
There’s also a few twists in the plot that are rather unexpected, which was refreshing for me. I really dislike getting two or three chapters into a mystery and being able to pinpoint exactly who did it and why they did it. A great story all around.
I’ll definitely be looking for more books by Hart.
9 of 10, easily.