The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton is out at the end of next month. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the chance of a review copy. Netgalley gives the publication date as 28 March, Goodreads is saying May 21. I suspect these are UK and US publication dates respectively.
The Last Murder at the End of the World
by Stuart Turton
Solve the murder to save what’s left of the world.
Outside the island there is the world destroyed by a fog that swept the planet, killing anyone it touched. On the island it is idyllic. 122 villagers and 3 scientists, living in peaceful harmony. The villagers are content to fish, farm and feast, to obey their nightly curfew, to do what they’re told by the scientists.
Until, to the horror of the islanders, one of their beloved scientists is found brutally stabbed to death. And they learn the murder has triggered a lowering of the security system around the island, the only thing that was keeping the fog at bay.
If the murder isn’t solved within 92 hours, the fog will smother the island – and everyone on it.
But the security system has also wiped everyone’s memories of exactly what happened the night before, which means that someone on the island is a murderer – and they don’t even know it…
The outstanding new high concept murder mystery from the Sunday Times bestselling and Costa Book Award winning author of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. An ingenious puzzle, an extraordinary backdrop, an audacious solution. [goodreads]
We start with a discussion between two people, about a death and why it is necessary. We don’t get the details, but it seems that one of them has worked out the probability of every course of action, and together they have come up with a plan that demands murder. I am immediately hooked.
We spread out into the community, meet many people, understand their way of life, and discover some irregularities that really don’t make sense. This is a dystopian society, as explained in the blurb. But as time goes on, you feel like it’s a dystopian society unlike anything else you’ve read. Even though I found Mr Turton’s style reminiscent of Kazuo Ishigaro – especially Never Let Me Go and Klara and the Sun – it also felt unique. It glides over and through you, drawing you further into the world, accepting its foibles, and worrying about the people in it.
I’m not sure I really followed the denouement adequately. So much was going on as we reached the end of the world. Maybe I started reading too fast, too eager to find out what happened next. Maybe there was a leap of faith in one of the conclusions. But it doesn’t really matter. I absolutely loved this book. The technology is genius, the characters just as they should be under the curious set of circumstances they are in.
I’m looking forward to reading it again!