The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton

When you get to the acknowledgements at the end of this book, you get a sense that this was not an easy story to write and things did not go well during the process and I have to say, that this book is not a patch on his previous books.

Set in the future where a black fog has swallowed up the whole of the world, trapping a few people on an island where it is held back by one person. Life on this island is happy, carefree and everything is in the service of the elders who oversee all, along with Abi a voice that is heard in everyone’s head. Plenty of scope here for things to go wrong. And they do.

The book is an attempt, I think, at exploring what we mean by free will and so everyone on the island does not have the luxury of free will, it’s just that they also don’t know it. It only takes one person to start questioning and then the walls start to crumble. At the heart is the desire for money and how it distorts actions. Step out of line and you are banished or killed (are we talking about Russia here?).

Part of the problem with the book is that I really didn’t have a full grasp of what was going on in the first third and then nothing really happened until the last few pages. There were no thoughts as to why some of the characters were free to think but the majority weren’t and it wasn’t really clear why other people were entombed.

I enjoyed the short chapters – I like a book to roll along but not even the looming deadline for extinction really injected any pace or excitement into the plot. The story flat-lined.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *