The Last Child: A Novel

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Winner of the 2010 Edgar Award for Best Novel

Heralded by the Washington Post as a "a magnificent creation, Huck Finn channeled through Lord of the Flies", John Hart's The Last Child is his most significant work to date, an intricate, powerful story of loss, hope, and courage in the face of evil.

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.

Now with an excerpt from John Hart's next book The Hush, available in February 2018.

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About the author

John Hart is the New York Times bestselling author of Down River and The King of Lies. The only author in history to win the best novel Edgar Award for consecutive novels, John has also won the Barry Award and England's Steel Dagger Award for best thriller of the year. He was born and raised in North Carolina. For a time he practiced criminal defense law, but left to focus on his writing.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Minotaur Books
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Published on
May 26, 2009
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9781429961936
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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John Hart
Down River is the winner of the 2008 Edgar Award for Best Novel.

Everything that shaped him happened near that river....

Now its banks are filled with lies and greed, shame, and murder....

John Hart's debut, The King of Lies, was compelling and lyrical, with Janet Maslin of The New York Times declaring, "There hasn't been a thriller as showily literate since Scott Turow came along." Now, in Down River, Hart makes a scorching return to Rowan County, where he drives his characters to the edge, explores the dark side of human nature, and questions the fundamental power of forgiveness.

Adam hase has a violent streak, and not without reason. As a boy, he saw things that no child should see, suffered wounds that cut to the core and scarred thin. The trauma left him passionate and misunderstood---a fighter. After being narrowly acquitted of a murder charge, Adam is hounded out of the only home he's ever known, exiled for a sin he did not commit. For five long years he disappears, fades into the faceless gray of New York City. Now he's back and nobody knows why, not his family or the cops, not the enemies he left behind.

But Adam has his reasons.

Within hours of his return, he is beaten and accosted, confronted by his family and the women he still holds dear. No one knows what to make of Adam's return, but when bodies start turning up, the small town rises against him and Adam again finds himself embroiled in the fight of his life, not just to prove his own innocence, but to reclaim the only life he's ever wanted.

Bestselling author John Hart holds nothing back as he strips his characters bare. Secrets explode, emotions tear, and more than one person crosses the brink into deadly behavior as he examines the lengths to which people will go for money, family, and revenge.

A powerful, heart-pounding thriller, Down River will haunt your thoughts long after the last page is turned.

Praise for John Hart and The King of Lies

"Treat yourself to something new and truly out of the ordinary."

---Rocky Mountain News

"A top-notch debut. Hart's prose is like Raymond Chandler's, angular and hard."

--Entertainment Weekly (grade A)

"A gripping performance."

---People magazine

"A marriage of carefully crafted prose alongside have-to-keep-reading suspense."

---The Denver Post

"A masterful piece of writing."

---The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)

"A gripping mystery/thriller and a fully fleshed, thoughtful work of literature."

---Winston-Salem Journal

"The King of Lies moves and reads like a book on fire."

---Pat Conroy

"John Hart's debut . . . is that most engrossing of rarities, a well-plotted mystery novel that is written in a beautifully poetic style."

---Mark Childress, author of Crazy in Alabama

"Grisham-style intrigue and Turow-style brooding."

---The New York Times

Now with an excerpt from John Hart's next book The Hush, available in February 2018.

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