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THE LAST DAY

- Pat Carty

Andrew Hunter Murray PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

Due to some cosmic misfortune, the Earth has ceased turning. Civilisati­on has descended into chaos and Britain – and Ireland, which is briefly mentioned as doing well – stands as one of the last inhabitabl­e zones. As pitches go, the one for the debut novel by Hunter Murray – a QI researcher as well as a popular podcaster – is a good one.

As the world is both lost to darkness and burning in the sun’s constant glare, scientist Ellen Hooper tries to uncover the meaning behind a letter from her former tutor Edward Thorne. He was once among the most powerful people in the country, alongside the dictatoria­l Big Brother, Davenport.

In addition to masterfull­y painting a world on the brink of extinguish­ment – America and China are lost to eternal night, there’s a new slave class, and you’d be well advised to stay out of the forests – Hunter Murray provides a top-notch plot that proves riveting until the very end.

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