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The Last: One Hotel. Twenty Survivors. One of them is a murderer. Hardcover – 31 Jan 2019
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The Last is a brilliantly executed novel, and the questions Jameson poses-who will be with you at the end of the world, and what kind of person will you be?-are as haunting as the plot itself. This is a chilling and extraordinary book (Emily St John Mandel, author of 'Station Eleven')
Dark, original, compelling (CJ Tudor, author of The Chalk Man)
It is Jameson's portrayal both imaginative and plausible, of how her characters adapt to their new life that makes her novel such compulsive reading (Daily Telegraph)
A clever, original, scarily plausible white-knuckle read(Erin Kelly, bestselling author of 'He Said, She Said')
A brilliantly imagined tale of suspicion, betrayal and survival in a world on the brink of extinction. One of those books that you can't stop reading - but don't want to end (TM Logan, bestselling author of 'Lies')
Stephen King meets Agatha Christie, in this fantastic and highly original novel that I'll be recommending to readers for a long time to come. I loved every second of it! This is *the* book of 2019 (Luca Veste, author of 'The Bone Keeper')
Chillingly nightmarish - a gripping read(Sophia Tobin, author of 'The Silversmith's Wife')
Gripping, and thoroughly and frighteningly believable. I could not put this book down (Jennie Melamed, author of 'Gather the Daughters')
Jameson does an excellent job of exploring what nuclear war would mean for us . . . exploring what it would mean to live in a place where consequences no longer existed. (Observer)
From the Inside Flap
BREAKING: Nuclear weapon detonates over Washington
Historian Jon Keller is on a trip to Switzerland when the world ends. As the lights go out on civilisation, he wishes he had a way of knowing whether his wife, Nadia, and their two daughters are still alive. More than anything, Jon wishes he hadn't ignored Nadia's last message.
Twenty people remain in Jon's hotel. Far from the nearest city and walled in by towering trees, they wait, they survive.
Then one day, the body of a young girl is found. It's clear she has been murdered. Which means that someone in the hotel is a killer.
As paranoia descends, Jon decides to investigate. But how far is he willing to go in pursuit of justice? And what kind of justice can he hope for, when society as he knows it no longer exists?See all Product description
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One of the guests is a historian who then proceeds to keep a journal of what happens next. And at the same time he investigates a murder, chronicles the other guests histories, and dips in and out of a potential supernatural aspect to the end of the world. Plus the story included some political aspects very relevant to today's climate (people who "voted for him" and groups of men making decisions about women's fertility, who gets the guns etc).
And because of all of this, it's hard to understand what sort of book this is. End of the world? murder-mystery? supernatural? political commentary? I'm also not sure if there's going to be a sequel.
It also seemed to be a bit weird in regards to the aftermath of a world destroyed by nuclear fallout. Some orange clouds, a lack of sun, being a bit colder, but not much else. And without wanting to spoil things, some of the organisation of things outside the hotel seemed to happen very quickly, far too quickly for the timescale. And a lot of questions were left unanswered for me.
I found this book very dull, with no pace at all. Despite there being a murder, there was nothing driving it forward. In one chapter, Jon was totally focussed on finding the murderer, then for the next few, the victim appeared all but forgotten among the need to find food and forge relationships with previous strangers. By the end of the book, I was not bothered which of the guests may or may not be guilty. Jon's character was not very likeable or relatable. The ending, for me, was ridiculous and felt rushed.
The basic set-up is fairly implausible. The story focusses on a relatively small group of survivors who find themselves checked into a remote hotel in Switzerland, when nuclear attacks on several cities around the world (including Washington and London) bring the world as we know it to an end. It then becomes side-tracked by the obsession by one survivor (our narrator, Jon) on the discovery of a dead body in a water tank on the roof of the hotel. He believes the body is the result of a murder and embarks on a mission to investigate it.
Personally, I found it hard to work out why he cared - especially when there was a much more interesting story, of how a group of strangers, thrown together in the most extreme of circumstances, should become acquainted, rebuild their lives and relationships. The murder subplot feels simply like a mechanism to enable Jon to cross-examine his hotel-mates and to differentiate this particular novel from other dystopian, armageddon literature. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite pull it off.
Armageddon that is never explained, and a huge cast of characters that have little back story, and next to nothing to say. So indistinct are they that you find you lose what little information you are given, and they disappear.
Turns out all you need to do in the event of extinction is drive to the next town and you'll be fine. And what happened to the girl is anybody's guess?
Author couldn't decide which book to write, murder mystery, end of the world saga, or nuclear aftermath, so she wrote this which is a real let down.
This has movie written all over it, will the misery never end?
Unfortunately, I found the ending to be a bit of a damp squib; such a letdown considering the suspense I had felt throughout the novel. I almost had the sense the author just wanted to get it finished and hastily cobbled together the first thing she thought of. I felt a little let down and that the characters hadn't really been done justice either. The revelation of who murdered the girl, for example, seemed ridiculous after all of Jon's investigations and there were so many red herrings where that part of the story was concerned that when it was finally solved I felt completely deflated.
Nevertheless, this is a fine novel and I did become completely immersed in it. Was sorry to finish it as felt it could have been longer and would highly recommend to others.