by Hanna Jameson
Publication Date : April 9, 2019
Pages : 288
Synopsis From Publisher:
Jon thought he had all the time in the world to respond to his wife’s text message: I miss you so much. I feel bad about how we left it. Love you. But as he’s waiting in the lobby of the L’Hotel Sixieme in Switzerland after an academic conference, still mulling over how to respond to his wife, he receives a string of horrifying push notifications. Washington, DC has been hit with a nuclear bomb, then New York, then London, and finally Berlin. That’s all he knows before news outlets and social media goes black—and before the clouds on the horizon turn orange.
Now, two months later, there are twenty survivors holed up at the hotel, a place already tainted by its strange history of suicides and murders. Those who can’t bear to stay commit suicide or wander off into the woods. Jon and the others try to maintain some semblance of civilization. But when the water pressure disappears, and Jon and a crew of survivors investigate the hotel’s water tanks, they are shocked to discover the body of a young girl.
As supplies dwindle and tensions rise, Jon becomes obsessed with investigating the death of the little girl as a way to cling to his own humanity. Yet the real question remains: can he afford to lose his mind in this hotel, or should he take his chances in the outside world?
The end of humanity is something we have all pondered. No matter the cause, the Apocalypse or nuclear war I am sure we have all shuddered at the thought. Hoping the end of humanity is something we never live to see. In The Last Jameson poses many questions to readers. How will you behave when there are no laws to govern behavior? How do you carry on when everything you had and was once important to you is gone? What will you do in order to survive?
At the L’Hotel Sixieme in Switzerland the worst has happened. Nuclear war has broken out, phones are down, internet access is sparse, and TV news has gone dark. At L’Hotel Sixieme panic has taken hold of the guests and staff. Some guests flee while some stay. When the dust settles twenty-one women, men, and children remain at the hotel. Just when things could not get more dire, a dead body is found on the hotel property. The remaining twenty-one are not only faced with the aftermath of nuclear war and survival but the frightening possibility that a murderer could be in their midst.
The Last is told in the format of a diary/journal/log from the perspective of Jon Keller. Jon is an American Historian from San Fransisco California. He is determined to document every event that occurs in the hotel and amongst the guests. Jon maintains this record for future generations and as a form of therapy for himself. Jon comes across as a stand up guy. He volunteers for anything which needs to be done in the hotel. Hunting, cleaning, going on searches for food; he is there. Amongst the other guests he is seen as a calm presence; someone who even in the most desperate of circumstances still wants to do the right thing. When a disagreement occurs within the group Jon is often neutral, seeing both sides of the argument. This makes Jon the perfect narrator.
L’ Hotel Sixieme is a large stone building with many rooms hidden in the Swiss wilderness. Although beautiful the hotel has a dark past filled with, suicides, hunting accidents, and bathtub drownings. Some of the guests believe there are more people in the hotel than recorded making the hotel seem haunted as well. Jameson has created a perfect backdrop for this nuclear tragedy. A building which was once beautiful but now made malevolent by war.
Although the ending fell a little flat for me, I still enjoyed The Last. The moral questions posed and political undertones made The Last an exciting yet disturbing read. Fans of dystopian fiction and locked door mysteries should add The Last to their list of must reads.
**Thanks to Net Galley and Atria Books for my free copy of The Last**
Murder and Moore Rating:
4 out of 5 Stars