Keith's Reviews > Last Light

Last Light by Alex Scarrow
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's review
Sep 26, 12

bookshelves: thriller
Read in September, 2012

The premise is a well thought out exposition of the implications of the Peak Oil theory, that modern society survives solely by the plentiful supply of oil. The drama occurs when this supply is suddenly cut off. The Middle East, South American and Nigerian supplies are stopped and it's a matter of days before civilisation starts to fall apart.
The story follows the Sutherland family, Andy, a Peak Oil bore currently working in Iraq, Jenny, stuck in Manchester and their children, Leona and Jacob, at University and boarding school respectively. What happens to them and the disintegration of life around them is interesting enough and, in the main, well presented. The fact that Andy may be the unwitting architect of the downfall, having written a report summing up the bottlenecks that can be used to cut off the world's oil, and an assassin sent to silence Leona, who accidentally saw some people who turn out to be members of a shadowy organisation called the Twelve. As it turns out they commissioned the report as a template for "saving" the world on their terms.
The Twelve, and their foot soldiers the 160, are a credible force behind the New World Order conspiracies, right up to the final scenes where the pudding is well and truly over egged, setting their roots in the 14th Century.
The story is gritty and not everybody gets out alive. The three older members of the Sutherland family are possibly over endowed with heroic traits, but for the story to end up where it was, they pretty much have to be. Andy, in particular, gets the Bruce Willis treatment.
The assassin is an unnecessary embellishment who's sole reason for existing is a few paragraphs of exposition late in the book. And upping the body count, which I mind less because what else is an assassin for?
The pace is pretty good, it seldom drags at all, although some may find chopping between the three main storylines confusing. There were some things that jarred, disturbed air made one or two appearances too many, mostly from near misses by firearms but at least once from a coat.
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