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The Last Message

Are you sure you want to know the truth ? 
Be warned…  The Last Message might plunge you to the depths of anguish and insanity…

The island of Iona, west of Scotland.
Great stretches of brown grass interspersed with black rocks. And, at the end of the “Street of the Dead”, the grey silhouette of the abbey.

Behind its windbattered walls, a resident has just been found murdered, his body mutilated in the strangest of ways. The police investigation is headed by Scottish inspector Grace Campbell. After a year of sidelining, she knows that her career is at stake.

When Grace arrives at the monastery under the driving rain, she pushes open the heavy front door and is met by the shifting gaze of the five monks who live there. All they can say about the victim is his name: Anton. They all know, on the other hand, that he had a secret study hidden away in the walls, a space strewn with scientific formulas…

What was Anton researching? Why has he been killed with such savagery? As she tries to recover her lost self-confidence, Grace does not yet realize that the solution to one of the most intriguing puzzles of mankind rests solely on her shoulders…

After the success of Cri, Complot and L’île du Diable, a new BREATHTAKING THRILLER by Nicolas Beuglet.

In The Last Message, Nicolas Beuglet introduces the mysterious, solitary figure of the young Scottish inspector, Grace Campbell. 

Author's interview

In The Last Message, we meet your new heroine, Grace Campbell. Can you tell us something about her?
Grace is a young Scotswoman of 32, a police inspector in Glasgow. At work, she is known for her ability to laugh at herself and for her gentle approach: she has an astonishing empathy for victims, who confide in her freely. This great ability to listen probably comes from her solitary life – for Grace has chosen to live absolutely alone, without family or friends. Why? The reason for that decision hides behind a locked door in her apartment…

The starting point of your story is a particularly brutal crime, committed in a monastery on the little, windswept island of Iona. The victim is also a mystery…
When Grace turns up at this isolated monastery, all the monks are suspects. They can’t look her in the eye, they speak in hushed tones and nobody seems to know who the victim was. He was a resident of the community who had rented a room there for two years. All they know about him is his name, Anton, and his habit of holing himself up in his little room for hours on end, doing nobody knows what. The way he was killed, unprecedented in the history of crime, is proof enough that he was not just a random victim.

In all your novels, you plumb the depths of humanity. Here, you deal with the development of human intelligence. Is it a way of exorcising your own fears and preoccupations?
It isn’t the shadowy parts of humanity that interest me so much as the ideas, phenomena and realities that shape us – or rather, deform and traumatize us without our even realizing they exist. I like to shed light on ideas that we do not talk about but which change everything. The spark that ignited The Last Message came from the observation, both fascinating and terrifying, that for over 20 years now, western human intelligence has been in decline.
Homo sapiens has been on earth for thousands of years and it is in our era that they are becoming their most stupid! Why now? What has happened? Is it just chance or the consequence of certain choices of which we haven’t realized the significance? Or, even worse, is it organized by certain people? The question is all the more pressing since intelligence is at the basis of our whole survival as a species. Just as a war for water is being talked about, this is a war over intelligence that is looming on the horizon…

Without giving away the plot, could you tell us more about this “last message” that involves the reader in mind blowing trains of thought?
It’s important to know that I write thrillers based only on facts – little-known facts but real ones nonetheless. The Last Message is based on scientific research that has been carried out in universities but which has not yet reached the public domain. In fact, I wonder whether that isn’t precisely because it is too unsettling. These discoveries are, as you say, truly mind blowing because they challenge all one’s beliefs – and when I say “one”, I mean “you” as well. So the only thing I can tell you with certainty is that this last message is likely to plunge you into a very strange state indeed…


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