Tha Last Child by John Hart

For twelve years Johnny Merriman lived a wonderful life.  The next year is one of unbearable loss;  his twin sister, Alyssa, disappears, his father leaves, and he loses his mother to grief and despair.  Johnny loses his innocence and he is alone.

Determined that his sister is alive, he searches for her in the mean places of town, putting himself in grave danger.  Though Johnny believes the police have given up, Detective Clyde Hunt is obsessed with finding  Alyssa.  He is also concerned about Johnny and tries to keep him out of harms way.

Another girl disappears.   While Hunt and the police work this case Johnny becomes more reckless in his search for Alyssa.  With his only friend, Jack, he goes deeper into the darkness of violent places.  What the two of them learn from a simple giant of a man, an escaped convict, living a nightmare of his own, takes Johnny to Alyssa.

Johnny has heard and seen things no thirteen year old should.  He has learned that truth can be hard and ugly and hurtful.  With the finding of Alyssa once again there is loss and betrayal.

Johnny’s story is one of hopelessness and courage.  A story of the ugliness of violence and the beauty found in faithfulness.  Hart writes a powerful novel, it is fast-moving and has some surprises.  Well worth reading.