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Worth saving?

Cover of The Last Murder at the End
A review of The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton

Stuart Turton once again blends genres in his latest novel with amazing results. The blend here is a near-future, post-apocalyptic setting with a murder mystery.

A fog has destroyed the entire world and all the living beings on it — except for one island off the coast of Greece. On this island 122 villagers and 3 elders live a self-sustaining, peaceful existence. Yes the villagers' lives are tightly controlled. They are ruled over by three elders and Abi, a sort of goddess who lives in their heads, the villagers have never known any other life and they're happy with how things are run. All except for Emory. Emory questions everything and struggles to find her purpose in the colony. Everything changes when Niema, one of the elders, is brutally murdered, the islanders are left stunned and bewildered. Added to that is the realization of the imminent collapse of the barrier that protects their island. Now Emory, who has struggled to find her place, is suddenly pressed into the role of investigator. Her quest leads her to discover dark and disturbing secrets — and while finding the murderer she may find a way to save them alll.

Turton has created a complex world and characters in a page-turner centered on what it means to be human and whether those things are even worth preserving. There is very real suspense as the clock runs down on Emory's investigation and real emotional depth in the struggles she and her fellow-survivors are facing. 

Apr 10, 2024