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

The Last Murder at the End of the World

A Novel

by Stuart Turton

The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton X
The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton
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  • Published:
    May 2024, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jordan Lynch
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Book Summary

From the bestselling author of The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and The Devil and the Dark Water comes an inventive, high-concept murder mystery: an ingenious puzzle, an extraordinary backdrop, and an audacious solution.

Solve the murder to save what's left of the world.

Outside the island there is nothing: the world was destroyed by a fog that swept the planet, killing anyone it touched.

On the island: it is idyllic. One hundred and twenty-two villagers and three 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 then they learn that 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 107 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.

And the clock is ticking.

PROLOGUE

"Is there no other way?" asks a horrified Niema Mandripilias, speaking out loud in an empty room.

She has olive skin and a smudge of ink on her small nose. Her gray hair is shoulder length, and her eyes are strikingly blue with flecks of green. She looks to be around fifty and has for the last forty years. She's hunched over her desk, lit by a solitary candle. There's a pen in her trembling hand and a confession beneath it that she's been trying to finish for the last hour.

"None that I can see," I reply in her thoughts. "Somebody has to die for this plan to work."

Suddenly short of air, Niema scrapes her chair back and darts across the room, swiping aside the tattered sheet that serves as a makeshift door before stepping into the muggy night air.

It's pitch-black outside, the moon mobbed by storm clouds. Rain is pummeling the shrouded village, filling her nostrils with the scent of wet earth and cypress trees. She can just about see the tops of the encircling walls, etched in ...

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Reviews

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Since a deadly fog overtook the planet, the vestiges of humanity have not only survived but worked together to create a picturesque existence under the oversight of the elders. When Niema, the head elder, is brutally murdered, the island's security system begins to fail. Prior to her death and fearing the likelihood of violence, Niema programmed the security system so that only the death of her murderer would stop the encroaching fog, for reasons that will later become clear. The story is a satisfying blend of genres. Many advanced technologies and futuristic developments based on the standards of the pre-apocalyptic society play important roles in the story. These technologies are used or revealed almost exclusively in the process of solving Niema's murder, with each genre supporting the other without taking precedence. The mystery plot reads much like a Sherlock Holmes novel, with all the clues introduced in bits and pieces but with only the main detective able to truly put everything together...continued

Full Review Members Only (803 words)

(Reviewed by Jordan Lynch).

Media Reviews

Woman's Weekly
A clever dystopian thriller...another twisty masterpiece from the Sunday Times bestselling author.

buzz mag (UK)
Combining several genres, but most prominently science fiction and crime, Turton has created what is probably his best piece of work to date.

Glamour
This story will grip your attention until the very last page and is sure to be another bestseller.

Observer
Excellent...I was engrossed in this high-concept thriller and can't wait to see what Turton does next.

Sunday Times (UK)
Turton's puzzle box draws on every sci-fi classic from Blade Runner to 2001: A Space Odyssey. As a mystery, it is more intriguing than involving. As prognostication, it seems only too likely to be the shape of things to come.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Turton (The Devil and the Dark Water) continues playing fast and loose with genre boundaries in this dazzling postapocalyptic thriller that blossoms into a race against time whodunit...This dystopian detective story fires on all cylinders.

Kirkus Reviews
[A] fresh twist on dystopian fiction with its share of surprises...'Don't go in the water' takes on new meaning in Turton's brainy thriller.

Reader Reviews

kdowli01

Just wasn't for me
Points for creativity, but ultimately I didn't really enjoy the experience of reading this book. There was a lot going on, and I felt lost almost the whole time, and when you finally learn what's going on it just wasn't worth the lead up.  ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Artificial Intelligence and Brain Science

In The Last Murder at the End of the World, a small group of people have survived the deadly fog that destroyed mankind. These survivors have managed to create a peaceful, productive society on their small island, benefiting from the sense of community bestowed by Abi. Abi is a mysterious intelligence that is part of the minds of all the islanders; she can not only read everyone's thoughts and communicate with them, but also exert control over the islanders' minds and bodies as needed. Although mind control in this sense doesn't exist in the real world, recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) have shown how this technology can be used to help scientists better understand the brain.

Pictures of teddy bear, airplane, clock and train and their AI renderingsThe process through which the brain...

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Read-Alikes

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