As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by Viking, 31 January
2019. ISBN 978-0241349175
I thoroughly enjoyed this book as
it is something a bit different. The Last
is one for those who like crime novels with a difference as it is a skilful
blend of dystopia, psychological thriller and murder mystery.
The IRISH TIMES quoted it as ‘A
Post-Apocalyptic Version Of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None . . .
The Last Delivers on Its Intriguing Premise as The Veneer of Civilisation Wears
Away and A Collective Savagery Starts To Take Hold.’
Jon Keller is at breakfast in a Swiss Hotel when the news breaks that nuclear
bombs have gone off in the USA and the UK and then other places across the
world. Is this the end of mankind? The hotel becomes chaotic as people make
snap decisions about whether to leave or not. Should they go and face whatever
is out there? Or stay at L’Hotel Sixieme and wait to be rescued? Jon is at the
hotel as part of a conference. His wife and children are still in the USA and
he has no idea whether they are alive or dead. As there are unlikely to be any
flights out, Jon stays on at the hotel and waits.
hysteria and several suicides in the early days as more news filters through.
Soon the transmissions and connections to the outside world stop. Some people
stay in their rooms, but Jon needs to keep occupied and gets involved in the
day to day running of things. There are just 20 people left in the hotel, maybe
the world. The hotel is a long drive from the nearest city and is isolated.
Days turn into weeks and no one comes to rescue them. The small community
settles into new habits and makes adjustments so that they can survive. The sun
is hidden behind the clouds but there is no rain. Plants and trees begin to
die. The birds and animals disappear. There is a constant fear of radiation and
food and the water supplies are diminishing.
group go to check on the levels in the rooftop tanks, they make a grisly
discovery. A child’s body is floating in one of the water tanks. Jon begins to
investigate who she is and how she could have got there, and whether the
murderer is still in the hotel. But the process is divisive, and the small
society begins to implode. Soon no one knows who they can trust.
the form of a journal, chronicling the day to day activities of survival, works
brilliantly for this book as the reader has no idea of the final outcome of the
narrator. The hotel has a dark history of murders and suicides and this adds to
the tension. For a long time, I kept wondering if the whole situation was some
kind of large scale social experiment as the narrator is quite unreliable and
holds things back. But maybe, the worst has happened and what is left of
society is on the brink of collapsing into savagery - if it hasn’t already done
Reviewer Christine Hammacott
Hanna Jameson published her first novel, Something You Are, when she was just
twenty-one. It was nominated for a CWA Dagger. She has lived in Australia and
travelled the USA, Japan and Europe
Hammacott lives near
Southampton and runs her own design consultancy. She started her career working
in publishing as a book designer and now creates covers for indie-authors. She
writes page-turning fiction that deals with the psychological effects of crime.
To read a review of her debut novel The Taste of Ashclick
on the title.