The Last Murder at the End of the World

A Novel

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Pub Date 21 May 2024 | Archive Date 31 May 2024
SOURCEBOOKS Landmark, Sourcebooks Landmark


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 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.

And the clock is ticking.

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...

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ISBN 9781728254654
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Average rating from 132 members

Featured Reviews

Stuart Turton is able to capture a moment and relay all the feelings that come with it. There is something extremely different about his books, something very other about them. They make you a little uncomfortable as you journey with the characters trying to solve whatever is put in front of you.

The way he plays with the idea of right and wrong in the book is enough to suck you in but it’s the attachment to the characters as the book goes on that keeps you reading.

To me it’s not the plot of the book that kept me engaged, even though it was incredibly well-paced and thoughtful, but it was the sense of the answer just being one more page away.

If you like locked room mysteries, amazing writing, and plot twists this is a must read.

Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC of this book.

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Wow! This book had so many twists and turns, I am stunned!
I am so pleased to have received an ARC of this book.
The book started slowly, and I wracked my brain trying to understand what was happening. Having the book be narrated by an AI was a new experience, but one I loved.

I highly recommend this book if you like books you cannot put down, and books that are thoroughly unique.

I especially enjoyed all the twist, and the whodunnit storyline. I was constantly trying to figure it out myself, and I utterly failed. Seriously, I am still shocked by the ending. This book is a 10/10 in my book.

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The world and all the people in it are gone. With the exception of some scientists, who saw what was coming, and some people who for some reason can only live for 60 years. Niema,Hephaestus,and Thea are the only remaining scientists. They are the only ones who know what the world away from this island has become. They are also the keepers of so many secrets!
But then the unthinkable happens. One of the scientists is murdered, and the villagers have a very short window to figure out whodunnit. If they can’t, the black fog that has killed everyone on earth will penetrate the island’s defenses, and the last remaining humans will perish.
Thea entrusts Emory to figure out what happened. Since everyone’s memories from the night of the Murder have been wiped, it will not be an easy task. But Emory has always been different than the other villagers. Questioning everything but getting very few answers. Her tenacity is humanities only hope, and she uses every skill she possesses to find the murderer.
A very good story that kept me guessing, and learning more about what happened to the world and this island’s secrets. Some of them surprised me, and some of them made me despise the choices humans are willing to make. So many layers to all the lies and the truth, well, let’s just say it was not at all what I imagined. Emory was such a great character, and I was cheering her on to figure everything out before the fog killed everyone.
The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is still my favorite Stuart Turton book, but this takes the number two spot.

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I LOVE STUART TURTON. I will read anything he writes and I will DEVOUR it. I didn't even need to read the description of this book before I wanted to read it. It was SO GOOD, and I love the Easter egg to reference Devil and the Dark Water!

I don't want to give much away in case new readers are looking over reviews but this was lovely. I just finished it today and I want to go back to the beginning and re-read it. I loved all the strong female characters (there were really only two main male characters and both were, shall we say, crotchety and scarred). I really loved that most things were explained but I also appreciated that some things weren't (these are small things, like how Thea and Niema managed to stay young - not sure what concoction of meds they were on to stay forever young). I didn't want this book to end but it was triumphant and glorious and I kept thinking how this would look on a TV screen.

Thank you for the chance to read and review. My only concern is how long before Turton's next book comes out?! (Maybe I can take some memory potion and read it for the first time again!)

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Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced ecopy of The Last Murder at the End of the World.

Yet again, Stuart Turton delivers a wholly original and fun novel that is much more than a mystery. The Last Murder at the End of the World is a complete mashup of dystopian/sci-fi/murder mystery, and it was a delight. The world as we know it had been taken over 90 years previously by a fog featuring human eating bugs, but a few scientists remained that were able to put up a barrier surrounding an island where they cultivated a village of human-like residents. Then comes a murder, and one of the villagers who has never quite fit in with the crowd is on the job to find the killer. There's so much more to say about this book - the messages about the human race, the hope in the future, and just the sheer complexities of the world Turton created. But instead of saying it, you should just read it. Fun and adventurous - couldn't ask for more.

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I'm still in awe of the amazingly detailed plotting and immersive world building. This story also flipped the post-apocalyptic genre for me since the rest of the world didn't matter - I only cared about these villagers.

As they try to solve the mystery of the murder, layer by layer of clues and puzzle pieces are uncovered. It was thrilling and compelling with a heart-pounding ending.

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Stuart Turton is one of my favorite authors. I was thrilled to read his newest book. All of his books are mysteries, but they are each fresh and new— different from each other and different from other books available in the genre. This time, people who have survived the end of the world and managed to create a new kind of community face a new existential threat. When an important person is murdered, an outsider named Emory must face the suspicion of her family and her neighbors as she races to work out what happened in time to prevent the imminent destruction of everything she has ever known. The technology and community in this story feel original and exciting. There is enough detail about what happened in the before times to make the present feel rich without getting bogged down in flashbacks or exhaustive exposition. Turton is one of the most creative voices working in mystery today.

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Thank you to Net Galley and Sourcebooks Landmark for giving me the ARC to review!

A murder mystery where the fate of humanity rests upon solving it?? Sign me up!

The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton (the genius behind the 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle) is a whodunnit wrapped in a sci-fi robe that sucks you in and keeps you hooked!

The world has ended due to being overcome by a fog that kills everything it touches, and the last hope for humanity is a small Greek island with sophisticated barriers keeping the fog away. A group of 100 villagers or so with 3 scientists from before the End of the World live, love and thrive here, with the end of the world always on the horizon. But not everything is as idyllic as it seems. Despite there being no violence of any kind since the island's establishment over 90 years ago, one of their beloved scientists has been murdered, triggering the barriers to fail. The worst part is that no one, including the murderer, remembers anything of that night. Now they have 91 hours to figure out who did it and serve justice, or the entire island, and humanity's last hope, will be over run by the deadly fog! What secrets and grudges will they uncover?Will they figure it out in time to save us from extinction? How do you get a confession from someone who doesn't know they're a murderer? I'll leave that, dear reader, for you to find out!

Wow! What a wild ride this book turned out to be! The premise is so unique and is delivered in spades in this book. The writing is so smart, but I feel like I'm spoiling it if I elaborate; but it definitely had me laugh out loud a few times! The characters are fully fleshed out and I really cared about each one of them and their interpersonal relationships and struggles. I also love how things book kept me guessing to the end! I also loved the the fact that parts of the book are a countdown of sorts, adding to the tension and gravity of the story as well as the little sci-fi touches that really brings the story together!

The only negative that I can see is that I found a few spelling/grammar errors, but honestly that's minor. Since reading this book, it's become my favorite read of 2023!

If you're looking for a whodunnit with a unique backdrop, fully fleshed characters, and a great plot with a touch of sci-fi whimsy, then The Last Murder at the End of the World is perfect for you!

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WOW. If you loved the 71/2 deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, you are going to love this too! Stuart Turton returns to the world of high concept sci-fi mysteries to great success. Like with Hardcastle, I think this story is probably best read with no idea of what it's about - the twists will be that much more surprising! Overall though, loved the characters, loved the plot, loved the worldbuilding, love love love. 5 stars. If you like science fiction, mystery or both this is a must read.

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Wow. This might be even better than The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle! In this wholly original tale, narrated by an AI with an unknown agenda, a murder takes place in the last remaining group of humanity. What follows is a twisty, turny, sci-fi murder mystery. I absolutely loved this story! Emory is such a strong character. She refuses to blindly accept everything that happens without question, and she uses that tenacity to try and solve the murder and save humanity before it's too late.

The Last Murder at the End of the World is hard to put down, and the short chapters make it easy to keep reading. The unique plot, likable characters, shocking twists and brilliant solution all make for an excellent novel that I thoroughly enjoyed! Highly recommended and I already can't wait to read the next Stuart Turton novel! Oh, I also enjoyed the references to The Devil and the Dark Water. That was a fun little Easter egg.

Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the ARC!

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This is my first time reading anything by Stuart Turton, and this was an enjoyable, engaging read. It's not a genre I normally gravitate toward, but I quickly got sucked in and finished it within 2 days. It can best be described as a post-apocalyptic, sci-fi murder mystery set in the near-future. And oh yeah, the main narrator throughout is an AI who's intentions and allegiances are not entirely clear.

The setting is unique and intriguing - most of the earth and every living creature on it have been wiped out by a mysterious fog full of carnivorous insects that tear apart anything in its path. Of course humans being humans, the knowledge of this coming calamity is enough to cause civilizations collapse into violence before the plague's arrival. Salvation is available - but at a price. The survivors subsist on a primitive island led by 3 scientists/researchers known deferential as "The Elders" who have rigged a shield to protect the island from the fog. Every inhabitant on the island is born connected to the AI and live in a society founded on the principles of kindness and service for the greater good of the village. Strange things are afoot, but the idyllic days make the mysterious nights easy to overlook. That is until the lead scientist is found dead and the AI failsafe protecting the island is deactivated. A countdown begins until the fog destroys everything. The AI will only re-activate the protections if the guilty party is identified and dispatched.

This novel is well-paced with short, addictive chapters, making it too easy to want to read just one more. Major plot advancements roll out pretty early on keeping you engaged. I appreciated the strong female characters throughout the story. There's lots of twists and turns as you learn more about the island and its inhabitants. Despite being a pretty quick read, there's enough meat here to easily envision this being adapted into a scripted series and I would 100% want to watch it. Will definitely check out more of this author's work.

If you liked The Hunger Games or The Silo, you'll probably enjoy this.

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Thank you NetGalley for a free e-galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Stuart Turton's "The Last Murder at the End of the World" is an imaginative and thrilling ride, combining elements of mystery, science fiction, and a dystopian future in a masterful way. Following the success of "The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle" and "The Devil and the Dark Water," Turton once again showcases his talent for crafting intricate plots and engaging readers in a complex puzzle.

Set on an isolated island, the last known refuge in a world obliterated by a deadly fog, the story unfolds with the murder of one of the island's revered scientists. This event sets off a chain reaction, endangering the lives of all the inhabitants by threatening to expose them to the deadly fog. Turton brilliantly constructs a high-stakes scenario where solving the murder is not just about finding a killer, but about survival itself.

The element of the island's security system wiping everyone's memory of the night of the murder adds an intriguing twist to the traditional whodunit. This amnesia plot device elevates the tension and suspense, as each character could potentially be the murderer without their own knowledge. Turton's skill in handling this complexity is commendable, making the narrative not only compelling but also deeply immersive.

The setting of the island, with its idyllic yet eerie atmosphere, is vividly described, creating a stark contrast to the horror of the outside world engulfed by the fog. The characterization is strong, with each inhabitant of the island having distinct personalities and secrets, contributing to the rich tapestry of the story.

Turton's pacing is impeccable, maintaining a balance between developing the mystery and exploring the novel's sci-fi elements. The countdown of 92 hours adds urgency to the narrative, keeping readers on the edge of their seats. The blending of genres works seamlessly, creating a unique reading experience that is both intellectually stimulating and emotionally engaging.

"The Last Murder at the End of the World" is a testament to Turton's prowess as a storyteller. His ability to weave an intricate plot with a vivid setting and a compelling cast of characters makes this novel a standout in its genre. It is a must-read for fans of innovative mysteries and science fiction alike, promising a story that is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining.

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This is the first book I've read by this author, so I look forward to reading his previous book now that I've read this one! It is a dystopian, murder, who-done-it mystery set in the not-so-distant-future and deals with such issues as human greed and ingenuity, artificial intelligence, protecting our environment, and what defines humanity. It starts slowly, but builds as the various characters reveal secrets in their pasts, as observed by the AI who narrates the book and a countdown begins to the end of human existence. I do wish that there had been a bit more explanation of the fog/insects (was it man/lab made? where did it come from?) and some more glimpses of life before the fog for each character, to get to know them better. I appreciated the ending had a hopeful conclusion. This would make a wonderful movie or mini-series.

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I really enjoyed how good the mystery elements worked with the sci-fi elements. It had everything that I was hoping for from the description. The characters felt like they belonged in this world and how they worked with the story. The plot was everything that I was looking for and glad I got to read this. I had enjoyed previous works from Stuart Turton and this was another winner.

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*Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for providing this book, with my honest review below*

The Last Murder at the End of the World is a beautifully written book that met the high expectations its unique premise set. Set in the future, we follow Niema, an elder and scientist, as well as Emory, a villager, and other characters as they introduce us to the village on an island that is the last to house humanity in the far off future.

This book focuses on several mysteries, not just the culprit behind the murder but that of the village and the secrets associated with it, as well as our sometimes narrator and character Abi. Stuart Turton has done a wonderful job of world building and adding tension and questions to move the plot that hit the right balance for a reader to stay engaged without getting confused. I enjoyed this and believe any reader who enjoys a good mystery or a dose of sci fi will as well.

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WOW, I loved every minute of this! Did I stay up entirely too late one night because I just had to finish this book and couldn’t stop? Why, yes, yes I did. It’s easily going to be in my top reads of the year, I already know it. I know, that’s an ambitious thing to say about my first book of 2024, but I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start out my reading year.

It’s the best of both science-fiction and mystery/thriller. I loved everything about this book - the characters, the world-building, the plotting, the pacing. It was a perfect five star read for me. I was completely absorbed in the events and transported into the story world. I absolutely loved the writing and narration style. I want all of my reading experiences to feel as captivating and compelling as this one did.

I will be recommending this to everyone and will most likely still be raving about it years to come. I have had this author’s backlist books on my tbr for a while now and I won’t be putting them off any longer, they will definitely be getting read this year. Dare I say it, this one book alone was enough to solidify this author as a favorite and I will be auto-buying anything he writes from now on.

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The Last Murder at the End of the World is a gorgeous post-apocalyptical genre mashup of a novel. On an island the last survivors from a deadly fog live and work together in harmony. The three scientists or elders rule the rest of the villagers with their knowledge and everything is peaceful until a murder occurs and the fog is unleashed. If the murderer isn't discovered in 92 hours, the fog will cover their island, killing everyone left in the world. What follows is described as a murder mystery, but is so much more. This story is also a survival story and a psychological thriller, there is romance and what it means to be a family, there is also the spirit of hope and resilience throughout. It's so beautifully and smartly told, I don't think there is anyone who would not enjoy this. First five star read of 2024.

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4.5 stars

A murder mystery with a sci-fi post apocalyptic back drop made this such an intriguing puzzle to unravel. I really enjoyed my reading experience with this one, and had a hard time putting the book down.

The island in this story is inhabited by the villagers and 3 scientist, all of whom are stuck, surrounded by a deadly fog. Then the unthinkable happens, a murder, which triggers the island defenses to come down, and the fog starts to role in closer, unless the murder is solved.

I loved the set-up for this story, it made the mystery not only about the murder, but also about the island, and how it works. I think this added much more complexity to the story, and made the mystery element stronger. The characters were well drawn out, and interesting. You got to see their motivations, and understand them throughout the story. The viewpoints from other characters helped flesh out the story and gave more depth than if it was just from the viewpoint of the main narrator Emory. There were a lot of clues and suspects, which at times felt a bit too much, but amazingly it all came together at the end.

Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

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