Edgar Award-winning John Hart’s The Last Child is not your average thriller. It’s an atmospheric story of complex heroes, unusual events, and the strength and weakness of the human spirit, all told with an intriguing spiritual undercurrent.
A year after his twin sister Alyssa’s disappearance, 13-year-old Johnny Merrimon is a zealous and troubled teen. While his despairing mother turns to her abusive boyfriend and the drugs he provides, Johnny is virtually alone. Armed with history books, a map of area sex offenders’ homes, and Native American relics (for luck), Johnny skips school with his friend and continues the search for Alyssa that the police force has largely abandoned.
Detective Clyde Hunt promised the Merrimons that he’d find Alyssa. Haunted by the ghastly possibilities, Hunt still pours over the evidence in his spare time. His obsession with his failure to find her causes him to care more for Johnny and Mrs. Merrimon than his own wife and son. This relationship is further complicated by Johnny’s distrust of Hunt, a factor that both hinders and aids their respective searches for Alyssa.
When another little girl is reported missing, Hunt and Johnny are convinced that the truth about Alyssa is finally within reach.
I really enjoyed this book. It was a bit slow for me in the beginning, but once it got started, it ran. If you like Dennis Lehane, I strongly encourage you to pick up this title.
Recommended by Leah Youse