Last Light, Alex Scarrow

This is a bloody good read in that it ticks all the thriller boxes. In particular it rattles on at pace, introduces twists and keeps you guessing to the end. On the downside the production of the book seems rather rushed (maybe to beat real life?) with some untidy writing but it’s all perfectly readable.

My focus is on whether it’s believable, especially in the light of my own researches into peak oil and collapse. For that is the “what if” here and my answer is a qualified yes, despite a touch of over-dramatisation. The violence card gets overplayed and too early. One of the characters mentions Lord of the Flies and it’s an apt yardstick. Golding’s classic racks up the menace until it spills over into violence – more effective than starting at high pitch.

One slight plot hole concerns Jenny’s journey, which doesn’t make much geographic sense. Having the M1 erroneously running past Birmingham probably shows some confusion in the author’s mind – good trainspotting by me though!

At the denouement I rather sided with the baddies: this poor old planet does needs a damn good cull of the human race – motivation for my own apocalyptic book really. It’s schadenfreude on a grand scale in revenge for mankind’s arrogance. Much better to get it out on the page than in real life, eh? Discuss.