As evidence by this blog, I don’t read too much out of the mystery genre. I suppose I should, but this genre is too good to even abandon. So I typically get my fix of other genres from cross over books. John Hart is the type of author who writes more like traditional fiction than mysteries. In his books there is a problem or a mystery to be solved, but the core of the tension and characters comes the themes about families.
In The Last Child families continue to be in disarray. For the past year thirteen-year-old Johnny Merrimon has been searching for his presumed dead twin sister, Alyssa. He isn’t the only one obsessed with Alyssa; Detective Clyde Hunt has obviously wrecked his psyche about the case he couldn’t solve. This is basically the rest of the novel. Angst, sadness, and obsession. I kept waiting for certain themes to go deeper but everything seemed rather basic. I hate to admit this, but I never was sympathetic for these two leads. They felt too much like standard grieving characters unlike the ones in his first novel, The King of Lies. Yet I feel book clubs and the like shall eat this one up as well. It almost seems prepped for them; I’d much prefer a subtler story.