Monday, June 15, 2009

A Thriller with a Heart

You have got to read this book. Put everything else aside, find a comfortable chair, and start reading. Actually, you won't even need a comfortable chair, because once you start reading, you won't notice where you are or what you're sitting on. This book is that good. This was my first time to read John Hart, and after reading The Last Child, I intend to go back and read his two previous books as soon as possible. It is the perfect blend of page-turning suspense, intriguing plot, and characters that come alive on the page. Johnny Merriman is a 13-year-old boy who has had to grow up way too fast, and Clyde Hunt is the detective who always seems to be one or two steps behind Johnny. (That was my one and only complaint about this book--I was disappointed that it took Hunt so long to figure out what Johnny was up to!) Johnny's sister Alyssa disappeared a year ago, his father left shortly after that, and his mother totally fell apart. Johnny's life is devoted to trying to find Alyssa, escaping the wrath of his mother's cold and heartless "boyfriend" (more like drug supplier) Ken, and trying to watch out for his fragile mother as best as he can. Hunt, who was the lead detective on Alyssa's case, is obsessed with the case and tries to keep tabs on Johnny and his mother. Then another young girl is abducted, and the nightmare escalates. If you like a good crime novel, or a good character-driven novel, you will love this book. Read it.

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