15 Jul 2021


Book Review / The Last Child by John Hart

Thirteen year-old Johnny Merrimon had the perfect life: a warm home and loving parents; a twin sister, Alyssa, with whom he shared an irreplaceable bond. He knew nothing of loss, until the day Alyssa vanished from the side of a lonely street. Now, a year later, Johnny finds himself isolated and alone, failed by the people he'd been taught since birth to trust. No one else believes that Alyssa is still alive, but Johnny is certain that she is—confident in a way that he can never fully explain.

Determined to find his sister, Johnny risks everything to explore the dark side of his hometown. It is a desperate, terrifying search, but Johnny is not as alone as he might think. Detective Clyde Hunt has never stopped looking for Alyssa either, and he has a soft spot for Johnny. He watches over the boy and tries to keep him safe, but when Johnny uncovers a dangerous lead and vows to follow it, Hunt has no choice but to intervene.

Then a second child goes missing...

Undeterred by Hunt's threats or his mother's pleas, Johnny enlists the help of his last friend, and together they plunge into the wild, to a forgotten place with a history of violence that goes back more than a hundred years. There, they meet a giant of a man, an escaped convict on his own tragic quest. What they learn from him will shatter every notion Johnny had about the fate of his sister; it will lead them to another far place, to a truth that will test both boys to the limit.

Traveling the wilderness between innocence and hard wisdom, between hopelessness and faith, The Last Child leaves all categories behind and establishes John Hart as a writer of unique power.


Published:     12th May 2009
Publisher:  Minotaur books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 1, Johnny Merrimon
Source:  Owned



I've not read this author before but his writing has definately intrigued me and has been one of those authors that I have been meaning to pick up and read for a long time now.   Also, to be honest, the cover was also one of the reasons I really wanted to read this!

We follow thirteen year old Johnny Merrimon in this story.  His sister has vanished and all of sudden his perfect life has changed.  His dad has run off, his mum has distanced herself from everything and taken to drugs and now has a boyfriend who is a less than desirable character.  Johnny really wants to find his sister, so he sets out to try and find her.

This was a slow story to read and one of those stories that you should take your time reading rather than trying to devour in one or two sittings.  For me, the best part of this story was, of course, the main character Johnny and his interactions with the local investor/cop who knows Johnny all too well and is watching his back to make sure he doesn't get into trouble.  Its a complicated friendship but one that I enjoyed following. 

There were certainly twists and turns in this story that kept me turning those pages and certainly a couple of plot twists near the end that I found very surprising!