Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Last Child by John Hart

This is the third book by this North Carolina author. In fact, he's not only a North Carolina author, he's also from my home town, which is pretty darn cool. His first two books, King of Lies and Down River, are both set in Rowan County. I read King of Lies, and I have Down River but haven't read it, yet. Hart has sold the film rights to both of these books, and I think they would both make great movies. He won the Edgar Award for Down River, as well. I finished The Last Child over the weekend and really enjoyed it. In fact, I liked it better than the first book. They are all stand alone books so it doesn't really matter in what order you read them -- just read them, especially if you like well-written, mystery/suspense/thrillers.

This book has quite a bit going on, but it all comes together nicely in the end. There are two main characters -- Johnny Merrimon and Clyde Hunt. Hunt is a lead detective in charge of the most serious crimes. Johnny is a 13 year old boy who lost his twin sister a year previously to an apparent abduction. Hunt has been investigating the case, but has yet to find Alyssa or anyone who may have taken her. Of course, as you can well imagine, this event takes its toll on everyone in this small community. A once happy family is torn apart. Johnny's dad walks out the door one day following the incident and never comes back. Johnny's mom drinks herself into a stupor because she can't cope with the situation. Johnny is left to care for his mother while obsessively looking for his sister and whoever may have taken her. He skips school and sneaks out of the house as he methodically searches every street focusing on the addresses of known sex offenders.

This is a very brief summary of the book. There is a great deal more to the plot, but I don't want to risk spoiling anything. I thought I had part of it figured out early on, but then I began to doubt myself at the midway point. In the end, I figured out part of it, but not the whole thing. I wasn't sure how Hart was going to tie all the loose ends together, but in the end he does. This genre is not always my first choice in reading, but I enjoy a good mystery/suspense book every once in a while. This one is well written and done in such a way as not to rely on too many coincidences to further the plot. I think Hart is an author we will definitely be hearing more from. I love it when a hometown boy (or girl) makes it big.

29 comments:

JoAnn said...

I don't read a lot of mysteries, either, but I'll certainly keep this one in mind next time I'm looking for one. How cool that the author is from your town!!

Lisa said...

Joann, even though I didn't know him before, it is still kind of cool. I have heard him speak a couple times now. He has been really good about coming and doing events for free where he got his start. He's a really good speaker -- very entertaining.

Diane said...

I really enjoyed Down River and I am looking forward to this one too.

Lisa said...

Diane, it's good to hear that you liked Down River. I know he won an award for that one. I'm going to try to get it soon. I hope you like The Last Child.

Iliana said...

I've been curious to try out this author. One of my friends didn't like one of his books (I believe the first one) but she and I don't always have the same tastes so I'm still interested. I think I'll add this one to my list! :)

Literary Feline said...

I will have to add this one to my wish list, Lisa. It sounds good. Thanks for the great review.

Lisa said...

iliana, I don't read much in this genre so I really don't who to compare him to. I'll be anxious to see what you think.

literary feline, Hope you like it!

Jemima said...

I have not read a lot of suspense, but when I do I seem to enjoy it. I might give this one a try. Thanks for the review. Also, I have nominated you for an award. I don't know how to make a link in a comment, but you can copy and paste if you like.

http://thereadingjourney.blogspot.com/2009/07/kreativ-blogger-award.html

Lisa said...

jemima, thank you so much!

Andrea said...

This is definitely going on my TBR list! I also like checking out NC authors, it's very cool that Hart is from your hometown too!

Lisa said...

andrea, it is pretty cool. I'm such a geek! I wouldn't be near as impressed with a movie star or singer as I am an author.

Tony S. said...

I read book blogs to find out what to read. Your review makes me want to read John Hart. Thank you for this lead.

Lisa said...

Tony, I hope you like this one.

Missy said...

Lisa: I, too live in NC, and love reading books by authors from our state. I recently discovered Sherry Austin and Joyce Moyer Hostetter. I will check out John Hart. Thanks for the great review!

Lisa said...

missy, thanks for letting me know about two more NC authors!

Anamika Joshi said...

The last child is a literary work indeed portraying the essence of dreams by an elderly couple....I love the book in every way....This was my first book I ever ordered online from my now fav bookstore A1Books...I continue to do so now....I really appreciate authors who take you to a long lost beautiful journey in their own way... :)

Happy Reading!!!

Anonymous said...

The last child is a literary work indeed portraying the essence of dreams by an elderly couple....I love the book in every way....This was my first book I ever ordered online from my now fav bookstore A1Books...I continue to do so now....I really appreciate authors who take you to a long lost beautiful journey in their own way... :)

Happy Reading!!!

Tarun said...

The review has been written in quiet a crispy manner...i suddenly felt as if i am going through a summary/recap of the long-long book which i finished in a month :) But was nice reading it. I bought this book along with The Kite Runner frm an online store - a1books.co.in, by going through the reviews given over there...these two books had quiet a similar outline and enjoyed both thoroughly :) Happy Reading!!!

at said...

Sounds like a good one. I like books that I have to read all the way through to figure out. www.sunpack.com/blog/

rtfgvb770 said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

Diane said...

I have the audio on my iPod and am looking forward to it. Thanks for no spoilers.

healy said...

This is my second time to visit your blog and OMG! you featured one of my favorite book, THe Last Child by John Hart. Wow! what an edge-of-your-heart-seat read this was!!!!and think I'll look up his other books as well.

healy said...

THis is my first time to read a book from NC authors. "The Last Child" to be called a crowning achievement, but the novel's ambition, emotional breadth and maturity make it an early masterpiece in a career that continues to promise great things.

kaye said...

Sounds good and a great book. thanks for sharing :)

Best Romance Novels said...

Thanks for the review! I love these kinds of book which combine mystery and suspense. These are the kinds of book you just can't put down. Can't wait to check it out!

Liberation said...

Great resources here. I’ll be back for the next your posting. Keep writing and happy blogging.

TheGourmetCoffeeGuy said...

Very good review about a book that sounds like a winning combination of modern life suspense, action, intrigue and mystery. Enjoyed your posting and look forward to your future recommendations. Thank you for sharing.

Ondrej from Nicholas Sparks Books said...

Hart has obviously put a lot of thought in this book,I was nearly sure that some loose end will end up unresolved, but he brilliantly managed to get it all together.

wade said...

Looks like an interesting book. I'm interested to read it now.