top of page
  • Writer's pictureDonna

The Last Child: 13-year-old Johnny searches for missing twin sister while dealing with family issues

The Last Child book cover art over photo of mountains & sunset by Terrie Purkey

The Last Child (#1 Merrimon), John Hart

Genre: General Fiction, Mystery

Award: Edgar

Published 2009, 373 pages

He watched the grief take her down. It broke her at the waist. She splayed her hands on the ground, dug her fingers into soft earth. “Make it stop,” she whispered.

Boy, this book just rips at your heart. Johnny’s family is torn apart after his twin sister goes missing. Then, a while later, his father leaves. Both Johnny and his mother are devastated by these two losses. His mother turns to pills and alcohol and gets involved with an abusive man who just tramples her into the ground, emotionally and physically.

A year later Johnny is still hoping his Dad will come home and he continues his own search for his sister, with the help of his best friend Jack. Jack will break your heart, a kid trying to act tough when dealing with an abusive father and brother, and his own disability. A local cop, Detective Hunt, keeps an eye on Johnny and his mother and tries to discourage him from his search. But Johnny's determination and stubbornness have to be admired.

Surprises abound in this book. A couple of times I thought, 'Wow, I didn’t see that coming'. There is one tragic turn after another that just put me through the ringer, but I couldn't put it down.

One thing that bothered me quite a bit was the number of typos in my library book edition. Do you notice typos when you read? Does it bother you? I assume the publication of a book is the same wherever you get it – check it out at the library, buy it at a book store or online, it’s the same book, right? Well, this one was filled with typos and also a couple inconsistencies from one paragraph to the next with what was happening. This was disappointing.

Nevertheless, I really liked the book and think it would be a great read for a book club with plenty of issues to discuss.

#generalfiction #mystery #johnhart #USA #awardwinner #edgaraward #goodforbookclub #bookinseries #4halfstars (click hashtag for similar books)

photos by Terrie Purkey

Welcome to Bookshelf Journeys.

It's my goal to provide real reviews of the books I read without totally rehashing every plot. I'll never spoil a story by giving away a plot twist! Hopefully you'll find one or two of interest and will discover a new book or author to add to YOUR TBR list.  Take a moment to explore, read a couple reviews, and let me know what you think.


For your convenience, I use #hashtags in the reviews and when you click on one, you'll find more books with that theme. Hopefully you'll find it a helpful way to navigate the site and find books you'll enjoy. I've also recently added tags that will show up at the end of each review that serve the same purpose.

The review ratings are based on a 5 star  (1/2 stars sometimes) system with a 3 being an average read for me. I hope you find that helpful. Knowing, of course, that all opinions are just that - my opinion!  Let me know if you agree or disagree - I'd love to hear from you.

If you like what you see and want to keep up with me, subscribe below.  Happy Reading!

bottom of page