Title: The Last by Hanna Jameson
Date Published: 31st January 2019
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?
Jon Keller is at a conference in Switzerland at L’Hotel Sixième when the world ends. He is just trying to survive in this strange land but he comes across the body of a young girl, he’s convinced someone in the hotel is the killer.
So I have mixed feelings about this book, which is making writing this review quite hard but I’ll try my best!
The characterisation is really strong, with each character different and unique, if not all that likeable.
We see the whole story through Jon’s diary. He claims that he’s writing it down for historical purposes but like when he starts investigating the little girls death it’s more about keeping his sanity than anything else.
The hotel is almost like a character itself. A blood soaked history, with murders, suicides, even a serial killer stayed there once! I feel that this could have been played with a little more, really amping up the horror factor.
I have to be honest as a piece of dystopian fiction it’s great, as a mystery, which is what I expected it to be from the blurb…not so much. I almost DNF at 40%, but I kept on just because I really wanted to find out what happened to the little girl, yet in the ending for me, felt a little lacklustre.
I’d recommend this to people who love a realistic dystopian novel with complex and intriguing characters.
Hanna Jameson’s fourth novel, part murder mystery and part post-apocalyptic thriller – THE LAST – is out early 2019, with Viking UK and Simon & Schuster – Atria Books US. The Last is the story of an American academic searching for the truth about a girl who has been murdered in his Swiss hotel in the aftermath of a nuclear war that has destroyed most of the Western world.
Jameson had written the first draft of her debut, award-nominated novel – SOMETHING YOU ARE – at just seventeen. Something You Are and two further novels in the series – GIRL SEVEN and ROAD KILL – are available now in the UK, Germany, Japan, and the Netherlands.
She lives in London currently, and is working on screenwriting projects. She likes whiskey, history, and emotionally taxing TV shows.