Last Day
by Murray, Andrew Hunter

An a near-future world where a solar catastrophe has stopped the planet's rotation, a scientist on a frostbitten rig uncovers a secret that the government will go to any length to keep hidden. A first novel.

Andrew Hunter Murray is a writer and comedian. He is one of the writers and researchers behind the BBC show QI and also cohosts the spinoff podcast, No Such Thing as a Fish, which, since 2014, has released 250 episodes, been downloaded 200 million times, and toured the world. It has also spawned two bestselling books, The Book of the Year and The Book of the Year 2018, as well as a BBC Two series No Such Thing as the News. Andrew also writes for Private Eye magazine and hosts the Eye's in-house podcast, Page 94, interviewing the country's best investigative journalists about their work. In his spare time he performs in the Jane Austen&;themed improv comedy group Austentatious, which plays in London's West End and around the UK. The Last Day is his debut novel.

*Starred Review* The year is 2059. Forty years ago, Earth stopped spinning on its axis. Half the world is in perpetual daylight, half in unending darkness. Civilization has survived, but barely, and most people scramble every day for enough food to keep going. Scientist Ellen Hopper, studying ocean currents on an installation in the frigid Atlantic, wants no part of her native Britain, which, in the wake of near-Armageddon, has descended into brutal tyranny; yet, after she is summoned to the deathbed of her former mentor, she does return home and quickly finds herself plunged into a mystery concerning the future of civilization and a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of government. This is Murray's first novel (he's a writer for the British quiz show QI), and it is not only readable but also downright impossible to stop reading. The science is believable, the near-future world feels as real as our own, the characters are lively, and the plot is suspenseful. A near-perfect alternate-future thriller. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

One woman must discover what lies at the center of a government coverup in this near-future thriller. The year is 2059, and the Earth hasn't rotated in 39 years. The Stop plunged parts of the world into darkness and others into everlasting sunlight. Britain lies right in the middle of a habitable zone, and the government has scrambled to build up its defenses to help its people while keeping others out. Scientist Ellen Hopper has been working on a rig out on the Atlantic for the past few years, away from the overbearing government and her failing relationships with her brother and ex-husband. But when a group of government officials arrives by helicopter to tell her that her old mentor is dying and wishes to see her, she is once again whisked into a world full of citizens spying on each other, curfews, and oppression. With only her mentor's promise that she will figure out "the truth," Ellen must find what he has hidden away before the government can destroy it. In his fascinating debut, Murray has crafted something original out of the classic "one person against a totalitari an government" trope. The world after the Stop is completely fleshed out and lived in, with explanations of how people eat, farm, work. The breakneck pace of Ellen's trying to stay one step ahead of the authorities (and not always succeeding) makes for a fast read, with short chapters that propel the action forward. Ellen and David, her ex-husband, grew up post-Stop, so their interactions and personal issues grapple with what the world has become in interesting ways. Thorne, Ellen's mentor, shines in flashbacks. The open ending leaves room for more exploration in a potential sequel. An interesting new twist on a post-apocalyptic tale. Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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