Customer Reviews for

The Last Child

Average Rating 4.5
( 580 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(316)

4 Star

(164)

3 Star

(59)

2 Star

(24)

1 Star

(17)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

23 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

A CLASSIC!

I will never forget this book and it's characters. It has touched my heart like no book has in many years. Hart writes just as each character would speak or think and sometimes that takes you past the edge of sanity. Sometimes the person simply has to escape the pain, ...
I will never forget this book and it's characters. It has touched my heart like no book has in many years. Hart writes just as each character would speak or think and sometimes that takes you past the edge of sanity. Sometimes the person simply has to escape the pain, physical and emotional. I was able to get into the characters so completely that I could almost smell poor Levi.

Reading some of the reviews for this book I have to wonder if they read the same book I did! Several reviewers name The Last Child,but they're not correct! You have to wait until the end of the book to learn who it is. This is a wonderful book. One to keep & treasure. I will never forget Johnny & Jack and of course Levi,that lovely simple minded man. Thank you John Hart

posted by CarolHND on January 21, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

13 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

Hart Misses Badly and Disappoints With His Third Effort

As a huge fan of John Hart, following his debut with King of Lies, I raced to obtain and read Down River. Those two reads etched the name John Hart in my brain under the heading "Favorite Writers". I looked forward to The Last Child for months and cannot express how di...
As a huge fan of John Hart, following his debut with King of Lies, I raced to obtain and read Down River. Those two reads etched the name John Hart in my brain under the heading "Favorite Writers". I looked forward to The Last Child for months and cannot express how disappointed I am with both the story and the writing. Many of my criticisms, even if general, would give away the essence of this story so I will refrain from too much of that here. It would be unfair to those of you who will go on and read it anyway. And you should, because you need to form your own opinion if Hart's previous two books thrilled you as much as it did me. However, I will tell you that this writing is not nearly as reader-friendly as Hart's first two novels. I found myself re-reading some passages just to try and understand what was happening, or to follow the story line, or even to figure out which character was speaking. Too many key characters were badly underdeveloped and their plights or the successes of the heroes unearthing (literally) their misdeeds failed to tap into the emotions of this reader. Twists and turns were expected, but none of them led or built up to a thrilling conclusion. What can a reader call a thriller that has no thrill but a disappointment.

posted by Brewer on May 18, 2009

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  • Posted January 21, 2010

    A CLASSIC!

    I will never forget this book and it's characters. It has touched my heart like no book has in many years. Hart writes just as each character would speak or think and sometimes that takes you past the edge of sanity. Sometimes the person simply has to escape the pain, physical and emotional. I was able to get into the characters so completely that I could almost smell poor Levi.

    Reading some of the reviews for this book I have to wonder if they read the same book I did! Several reviewers name The Last Child,but they're not correct! You have to wait until the end of the book to learn who it is. This is a wonderful book. One to keep & treasure. I will never forget Johnny & Jack and of course Levi,that lovely simple minded man. Thank you John Hart

    23 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Hart Misses Badly and Disappoints With His Third Effort

    As a huge fan of John Hart, following his debut with King of Lies, I raced to obtain and read Down River. Those two reads etched the name John Hart in my brain under the heading "Favorite Writers". I looked forward to The Last Child for months and cannot express how disappointed I am with both the story and the writing. Many of my criticisms, even if general, would give away the essence of this story so I will refrain from too much of that here. It would be unfair to those of you who will go on and read it anyway. And you should, because you need to form your own opinion if Hart's previous two books thrilled you as much as it did me. However, I will tell you that this writing is not nearly as reader-friendly as Hart's first two novels. I found myself re-reading some passages just to try and understand what was happening, or to follow the story line, or even to figure out which character was speaking. Too many key characters were badly underdeveloped and their plights or the successes of the heroes unearthing (literally) their misdeeds failed to tap into the emotions of this reader. Twists and turns were expected, but none of them led or built up to a thrilling conclusion. What can a reader call a thriller that has no thrill but a disappointment.

    13 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 2, 2010

    The Last Child

    Gripping story--fast read. Couldn't wait to see what happened next.
    Could hardly put it down to use the computer!! Fascinating plot.
    Real twist at the end--I didn't see it coming!
    Characters jumped off the page.
    Some violence, but not too graphic for me.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 27, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    EXCELLENT!

    Hart has captured the resilience of youth and the horror that exists in the world. The characters are real and complex. This compelling story and subject matter are dark, but moving and uplifting in a way too. The excellent plot line makes this an action packed thriller with plenty of twists and turns.
    This is about the courage of a young boy to do everything in his power to try to get the life of his family back in order. He has hope that he can find his sister and never lets anything distract him from his quest. He rejects help from those who want to help him because his life experience proves to trust no one. The characters are haunted by their memories of the innocent girl long lost and is a compassionate look at a family in ruins. EXCELLENT!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Mind Blowing

    The Last Child is one book I could not put down. I am not just saying that. I have read many books in my life time. One day I decided to go to a local Barnes and buy a book. This one just shined. I read the back then flipped through the first few pages and right away I was hooked. The characters, the plot, the setting, the drama, and thrill. It was beyond brilliant. This is a must read to all. My first John Hart book and I was not disappointed and neither will you. This book not only tells a story but it also teaches you. This novel is so real and so epic. Amazing... Just amazing...

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Children Beware.

    In "The Last Child" Hart gives us a fine story. Johnny Merrimon is a 13 year old who has a normal family and nice life until one day his sister, Alyssa vanishes. A few weeks later his father leaves home and doesn't return.
    Now a year passes and no one believes that Alyssa could be alive but Johnny. He keeps searching. He has mapped the community and travels around asking if people have seen his sister. Some of the writing reminds me of Mark Twain with the down home approach. Johnny also reminds me of Tom Sawyer with his self starting approach to finding his sister and having a friend like Huck Finn, Johnny's friend is Jack. Johnny also wanders around the community similar to Tom traveling to the river and back.

    One day, Johnny comes upon a man who was just in a motorcycle accident. He tells Johnny that "I found her." Then the car that hit the man is returning and he realizes that it wasn't an accident and tells Johnny to run.

    Johnny gets home and finds that there is an alert that another girl is missing. He leads the police to the bridge where they find the body of the man in the accident.

    Later Johnny makes a discovery that is significant to the plot (Spoiler so not disclosed).

    This is a well written story with interesting subplots that keep the reader guessing. There is also mention of "The Lord of the Rings" in the story and Johnny is reminiscent in Ralph in that story in Johnny's climbing up to get a feather for good luck and his belief in Indian superstition.

    I believe that readers will enjoy this story.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Jack Reacher meets Huck Finn

    "The Last Child" is a very satisfying mystery thriller and a genuine page-turner layered with rich subtext. I could barely put it down, driving home for lunch just to keep reading it. No wonder the author won the Edgar Award for 2007's Best Mystery for his last book, "Down River."

    What's so surprising about "The Last Child" is that the protagonist of this book is a 13 year old boy, Johnny Merrimon, on a very serious mission to find his abducted twin sister. The book opens about a year after the sister's disappearance. Johnny's father has abandoned the family out of guilt, believing the abduction was his fault. Johnny's mother is a mess, living in a prescription fog. Johnny's hope is that finding his sister will reunite the family and put his world back in order. His mission is not only serious, it's adventurous, taking him to parts of a southern town and rural county where no child should go alone.

    The North Carolina setting is in the fictional Raven County, split by a river that provides some of the action setting. The book has some other characters, including a mercenary real estate developer, a guilt-ridden detective, and an escaped convict. When the author takes the narrative away from Johnny, however, you'll find yourself reading faster, just to get back to the scenes with Johnny.

    You wouldn't think a book about a teenager would have a lot of appeal for adults, but the young Johnny Merrimon is such a compelling character, you root for him the whole time. His clear goals and motivation cause him to behave in very unconventional ways, yet the author makes it completely believable. Johnny is an enlightened mix of Jack Reacher and Huck Finn. Just as Lee Child's action hero Jack Reacher ignores social convention and the law when he's got his teeth into something important, so does Johnny Merrimon. If Jack Reacher is the man all men want to be, then Johnny Merrimon is the 13 year old boy all men wish they had been.

    "The Last Child" was the best novel I've read in the past few years. Although this author's books presumably take place in today's world (mobile phones, CD's, and Escalades), the tone of John Hart's books make me feel like they are set back about 30 years ago. That's a good thing.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An exhilarating small town thriller

    In rural North Carolina, twelve year old Alyssa Merrimon was going home from the library when she vanished. Police Detective Clyde Hunt led the failed investigation and marshaled the townsfolk to search for the child, but she was never found nor were any clues of foul play uncovered. The case has since turned cold with people feelings sorry for the Merrimon matriarch and Alyssa's twin; the father simply left soon after his daughter disappeared.

    Although everyone else has given up on finding Alyssa as the assumption is she is dead, her twin brother Johnny refuses to end his search though one year has passed since she disappeared. He walks every street going door to door and even confronts known sex offenders. Hunt worries the two Merrimon have lost their minds as Johnny obsesses and his mom has mentally withdrawn in a breakdown. Johnny gains renewed hope when a second abduction occurs as he believes the same culprit took his sibling.

    Obstinate Johnny as THE LAST CHILD searching for his missing twin brings pathos and tension to this exhilarating small town thriller. Slowly step by step he begins to uncover secrets that place him in danger; but though he knows his life is at risk he refuses to give up his quest. Fans will not just root for the brave boy, but accompany him all the way as a small town that looks idyllically rustic conceals danger lurking behind the serene façade.

    Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Hart has another winner!!

    So much death, so many questions. This is a line from Hart's new book, The Last Child. With every turn of the page--more questions. This is one book you cannot put down until you find out the answers. If you like to try and figure out the puzzle Hart presents you with, you will definitely like this book. I loved the character development. The pace is quick but you want to be sure you read slow to take in all of the details. This is one book that will stick with you long after you finish reading it.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 23, 2010

    Nail biter

    This book was fantastic! The writer's style was very descriptive, playing like a movie in my head as I read the words. The plot was also very creative and it was impossible to guess what would happen next. You won't want to put this book down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2010

    A terrific read.

    This is John Hart's most recent offering; and, from my perspective it is his best work. Compelling characters and an excellent plot line make this an action packed thriller with plenty of twists and turns. Hart has quickly become one of my favorite authors.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2009

    Excellent!

    This is real fast-paced book that keeps you reading - hard-to-put-down once you've started reading.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2009

    AWESOME BOOK

    COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN-THRILLER-ACTION ON EVERY PAGE-COMPLEX RELATIONSHIPS/BELIEVABLE EMOTIONS-----LOVED THE ENDING

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Enthralling

    A superbly written tale full of interesting twists and unexpected turns. Couldn't put it down until I finished it and can't wait to pass this on to a friend who loves great writing and riveting mysteries. If I wrote why I liked it so much, I'd ruin it for everyone else.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Best book ever!!!!!!

    Such a fantastic book this kid went out on a search to find his sister hoping it will reunite his parents so they can be a hapy family again he went through troubles on his journey couldnt help but just cry

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2011

    This story had it's moments.

    The beginning and the ending were page turners...but the middle dragged on and on. The reviews were so promising. Oh well!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2010

    Awesome!

    One of the best books I've read in a long time! Couldn't put it down! Usually I can predict exactly what is going to happen...not this time. I lent it to a friend and she was instantly hooked as well!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2010

    Must Read!

    Awesome Book!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it

    Kept me on the edge of my seat the entire book. I would highly recommend this book for male readers it will keep them very intrigued.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Book of the Year

    I love the way this man writes and found myself mesmerized by this story. I really thought his characters were so completely portrayed and was only sorry when the book was over.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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