Saturday, May 23, 2009

By John Hart

Johnny Merrimon  is living a life that could be described as ideal.  His family is happy and the childhood of he and his twin sister Alyssa is typical until the fateful day when Alyssa is kidnapped.  That one, catastrophic event changed everything.

Certain his sister is still alive, Johnny, a thirteen-year-old boy, takes matters into his own hands and begins searching the North Carolina county where he lives to find his sister.  During his quest he uncovers the terrifying secrets of  other people in his town. 

Johnny finds two unlikely allies.  One is Detective Clyde Hunt.  Hunt is more than a little infatuated with Johnny's ethereally beautiful mother and finding out what happened to Alyssa.  His marriage is destroyed, his job jeopardized, and his relationship with his own son is damaged beyond repair.  Levi Freemantle also comes to Johnny's aid.  Levi is a mysterious giant of a man with his own strange secret.

The loss of and search for Alyssa sets off a chain of events that bring interesting characters together.  Johnny, Hunt, Johnny's friend Jack, and Levi each have painful discoveries along the way.  Each of them is on their own redemptive journey.

This is a mystery/thriller with a Southern Gothic feel.  It is a dark novel to be sure.  Comparing this work to the great Harper Lee novel, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, would not be out of place.  The characters are memorable.  What do you think? 

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