John Hart is a writer who describes himself as a “recovering” attorney who lives in North Carolina, the site of his novels. Although he is currently not practicing law, his experience in our criminal justice system benefits his writing. He has received praise as a writer who can bring his characters to life, making them very real to the reader. His thrillers keep us on the edge of our seats, unable to put his work down. In the book “The Last Child,” Hart mixes a boyhood adventure much like Huckleberry Finn’s with a modern mystery of missing children and serves us a winner of a story.
The hero of the book, Johnny Merrimon, is a 13-year-old boy who had lived in a very happy and strong family. This changed a year ago when his sister disappeared. Johnny still will not accept that she might be dead. His family has been devastated. Johnny’s father has disappeared, apparently absorbing blame for not being on time to pick up his daughter. His mother feels guilty and changes her entire life-style, having lost two of her loves- her daughter and her husband. She uses drugs and alcohol to dull the pain. The result is that she loses touch with her son. Both Johnny and his mother are abused by the town’s rich and influential power figure. Johnny fights back the only way he knows how. He spends his every moment and all of his energy to find the sister—the twin sister he has lost. Clyde Hunt, the troubled police detective, is always there, still trying to solve the mystery, which has devastated him and his family, too. Now the town cringes in fear. Another young girl has gone missing.
Before long there are dead bodies and twists and turns that keep the reader both guessing and involved. Hart’s book is full of action and suspense. There is little time to rest, or to put this exciting book down—which you certainly won’t. Our book club gave this book the highest rating of any book we have read. I highly recommend it to both mystery lovers and to anyone who enjoys a fast-paced, exciting story.
Key Ideas from different club members:
I really liked the characters; Well-written; Like 2 books in 1; Wonderful page-turner! Loved it; Nice read; Fantastic! Suspense and drama all wrapped up into one; Kept you reading and guessing; Couldn’t predict the ending; Keeps you guessing till the end; Fabulous book!
The Club Members rating of this book:
Pat Gombita, Pat Kuna, Sharon Shaffer, Julie Shultz, Bill Simmons, Helen Skalski, Deb Stewart, Barb Swanson, and Linda Troll
Club’s Average Rating: 4.9 of 5 Rating Range: 4 to 5