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The Last Child Paperback – 4 Mar 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (4 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719522218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719522215
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 325,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'The Last Child is as satisfying as his previous books' (Guardian)

'Just once in a while a thriller comes along that makes you want to run out in the street and proclaim how good it is ? John Hart's third novel is one of those. Written with power, precision and an iron grip on character it makes him out as one of the outstanding talents of his generation ... it grips you by the throat and never lets go' (Daily Mail)

A gripping thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat (The Sun)

'Hart is emerging as one of the biggest new American talents in the psychological thriller field, and should be joining Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay on the bestseller lists' (Bookseller)

'Third novel from this rising US author' (Bookseller)

'I absolutely love this man's writing, and by that I mean all aspects of it: plotting, characterization and its lyrical quality ... John Hart has joined the highest ranks of crime fiction writing. Thank heavens he's a young man so we'll have his novels to enjoy for many years to come' (Deadly Pleasures)

'EDGAR Allan Poe Award winner John Hart does something in his latest book that few manage successfully: write a compelling thriller with a child as the main character... Hart, a former lawyer from the US deep south, writes finely detailed prose with a literary edge, a fine sense of atmosphere and just the right touches of creepy southern gothic' (The Weekend Australian)

'The main character in award winning author John Hart's thriller The Last Child, is a teenage boy turned vigilante, driven by the abduction of his older sister a year ago...a superb page- turner' (Illawarra Mercury (Australia))

'A roiling, boiling, seething stew of passion and conflict' (Courier Mail, (Australia))

'Brilliantly written with plenty of twists and clues' (Crimesquad website)

'A masterly and suspenseful thriller' (Good Book Guide)

'The Last Child leaves the reader awed and troubled, and wondering how on earth the author is going to follow such a tour de force' (Shots magazine)

Book Description

A thirteen year old boy turns vigilante to investigate the abduction of his twin sister

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I really found this book difficult to put down, one of those books where you become totally immersed in its pages; you say to yourself 'just one more chapter then I'll switch off the light', and the light never went off before 2am!

The characters are believable and you immediately begin to warm to the three main ones, the boy Johnny, his mother Katherine and the tough but sympathetic detective Hunt.

The author has created a wonderful story full of images, folklore and complex characters, and the plot itself sends you down many twisting and turning alleyways until you reach the breathtaking conclusion. I was completely absorbed by the story throughout.

This is the first novel I have read from John Hart, and I've immediately ordered his two others only five minutes ago!
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Format: Hardcover
Having read, and loved, Hart's previous two novels, King of Lies and Down River, I was looking forward to reading The Last Child and I can safely say that this novel was absolutely fantastic and definitely his best yet. There have been several mornings this week where I have a) come in early to work but instead sat in starbucks so I could carry on reading and b) skipped going to the gym so I could sit in starbucks again and carry on reading. The cast of characters was incredible, all of whom provoked surprisingly strong reactions from me! The relationship between Johnny and Hunt is so moving and I don't think I have ever felt such intense hatred towards a character before I met Ken. I don't want to spoil it for everyone by giving away the ending but let me tell you it is very rare that a novel has such a satisfying ending that ties up all the loose ends and gives the reader real closure. Having been a Grisham fan for many years, I don't think I will be able to enjoy one of his books again after reading a Hart! Read him and enjoy!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is well written, inasmuch as the language and description of place are handled more than competently but, my God, it is a miserable read from start to finish. Every character is angry and melancholic, and there is absolutely no humour to be found in the whole book. I also wasn't convinced by the thirteen year-old central character: he talked like an adult, he acted like an adult, and indeed he is an adult in everything but years spent on this earth. I didn't find the plot very convincing either, and the mystical turn at the end of the book made me cringe. Also, is it obligatory in contemporary crime fiction that the Chief is unreasonable and obstructive to the detective hero? There are many short-comings to this novel, but most of them would be ameliorated with just a little less darkness and a touch of humour. Instead I was just relieved to finish the book and step back into the light.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's six months since I discovered John Hart, reading IRON HOUSE, his most recent novel (there's a new one out next month). IRON HOUSE blew me away. THE LAST CHILD is his previous book, similarly set in North Carolina. 13-year-old Johnny Merrimon's twin sister was abducted a year ago and never found. His father has disappeared; his grief-wrecked mother has taken up with a bullying property magnate. Johnny spends many hours scouring the area looking for clues to his sister's disappearance. Another abduction and an encounter with a black vagrant who seems to know something spur the boy on. One local detective also refuses to let the case go cold and tries to watch over Johnny and his mom.

This is not a new theme but John Hart gives the story a Southern Gothic twist that makes it feel fresh and exciting. His prose style is as rich as Stephen King's: one suspicious local man "was sixty-eight, with bristled hair, two loose teeth and eyes like raw oysters." There's a riverside cemetery scene with an atmosphere that calls Charles Dickens to mind. The suspense builds to a vivid, visceral climax that tears at your heart strings.

Hart is a real find. Thrillers don't come any better than this. I can't wait to read the next one.

[Reviewer is the auithor of THE BEXHILLMISSILE CRISIS]
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had doubts about this book when I started reading it, but remembering my enjoyment of 'Down River' I stuck with it - and was very glad I did! It is a truly remarkable read, which gradually gathered momentum until I found it impossible to switch my Kindle off. John Hart is an exceptional writer and kept me guessing until the final chapter. I am currently half way through 'Iron House' - which is another John Hart 'Tour de Force'!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book a good while ago , and it has to be pretty special for me to read a book twice.
I really didn't expect the ending and I was sorry when I finished it.
I won't give away the plot . Read it for yourself !
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The first Hart book that I read. I was absolutely enthralled by it and have gone on to read King of Lies, which though good, did not come up the standard set in The Last Child. This is a real page-turner and one I would highly recommend to readers of crime novels and mysteries.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'd never heard of this author but my mum, who is 90 and appreciates Stephen King, passed on a hard copy (previously known as a book). I promptly bought the Kindle version and found myself quickly drawn in to the story. Great characterisation and description throughout. I've now downloaded his other 3 books and I'm on Iron House now.
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