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?
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
Jon Keller is on a business trip in Switzerland when notifications come through his phone with breaking news that someone has finally pushed the button and a nuclear war has begun. It doesn’t take long to hear that Washington, New York, London, and Berlin have all taken massive hits with millions dead and dying. The world as they knew it had ended. When the skies turn orange historian Jon Keller knows that the trees and vegetation will soon be dead too, There is a massive rush for residents at the hotel situated deep in the woods, to get to the airports and try to get home.
Within a couple of weeks, only 20 guests and employees are left at the hotel after some of the remaining ones have ended their own lives. People from different countries, speaking different languages with fingers that point blame. Questions of ‘who did you vote for?’ In a crisis, people need to blame someone because it can’t be their fault and the real people responsible aren’t around. Keller decides to make a sort of journal for anyone who may find it one day. A record of who is left at the hotel, their thoughts and how they remember what they were doing when the world as they know it ended.
The story takes on a much darker element when the body of a child is found. Keller becomes obsessed with finding out if one of the remaining twenty is a murderer. When supplies are being used and not replenished they have to make a choice. Should a team head for the town to find food and meds?
Oh my, there are some real choice characters in this story, with plenty of rooms to hide what you wouldn’t want someone else to find and Keller is like a child with a stick stirring up a bees nest. You just know that at some point something is going to give. There are many dark avenues in the story, which you need to read yourself. We aren’t too many steps from our ancestors as the will to survive, create life and take it becomes so much easier.
I think that this is the most realistic future for our world that I have read if we were ever to have an all-out nuclear war. It is a pretty scary place, I know I wouldn’t survive.
There is a real uneasy about this story which grows intensely as the group faces more difficult challenges as time passes leading to a brilliant ending. Very disturbing, extremely realistic and ultimately compelling.
I wish to thank NetGalley for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hanna Jameson’s fourth novel, part murder mystery and part post-apocalyptic thriller – THE LAST – is out now with Viking in the UK and Simon & Schuster-Atria Books in the 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, working on screenwriting projects. She likes whiskey, history, and emotionally taxing TV shows.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
I was delighted that author Hanna Jameson was willing to take part in a small question and answer session with me. So very grateful for her in-depth full answers that gave me a feel of her personal views.
- If you could be a character in any book, yours or someone else’s who would you be?
Hermione Granger but instead of marrying Ron (honestly the most undignified conclusion anyone could have imagined for this character) I’d use my unparalleled skills to go off and win the Nobel Prize for sorting out all the world’s problems. Then I’d relax and marry someone better, like Gillian Anderson or Justin Theroux.
2. If you could travel in time would you go to a place in history you could research before you go or into the future you don’t know?
According to scientists, there isn’t much future left due to climate change so gonna have to go with the past. I’d place a few bets and try to avert some terrible things. Also, I’d like to see a few bands live who aren’t around anymore.
3. Do you prefer the book signing side of being an author with fans at events or when you talk on stage with other authors on a topic then take questions from the audience.
I prefer audience Q&A’s, because there is generally more scope for interactions than at signings, when you’re always very aware of other people wanting time and wanting a signature. That being said, because events are timed I always say during Q&As that anyone who doesn’t get to ask a question can just ask me while I’m hanging around afterwards. I’m not averse to questions at all. I prefer audience Q&As, because there is generally more scope for interactions than at signings, when you’re always very aware of other people wanting time and wanting a signature. That being said, because events are timed I always say during Q&As that anyone who doesn’t get to ask a question can just ask me while I’m hanging around afterwards. I’m not averse to questions at all.
4. If you could ask one famous person to read your books who would it be?
5. Do you plan your stories or are they character lead when you begin to write.
To start with, the characters lead the narrative. Then I plan more as I go along.