Winters has produced another compelling dystopian thriller that benefits greatly from its inherent charm. He is an author that is equally comfortable with both male and female characterisation and this leads to a nicely balanced story populated by realistic people. What I like about Countdown City is that while it shows a world that is without doubt going to pot, it is currently still a way from falling apart completely and the bizarre combination of mass suicides, those fulfilling their bucket-list objectives and those simply trying to carry on as normal (like Hank) make for a peculiarly believable vision of what would actually occur under these circumstances. Hank Palace is a rather ordinary man with a touch of the obsessive compulsive about him. He is another contrast that works well and the ordinariness of Palace, when set against the less than ordinary asteroid that is soon to wipe humankind off the planet, works really, really well. There are similarities with the first book with Palace trying to carry out an investigation to the incredulity of those around him. And as well as the missing person/murder investigation there is also an interesting sub-plot involving his sister Nico, who has become embroiled with a group of conspiracy theorists who believe the asteroid is a cover-up and that they can truly save the world. Countdown City explores themes and asks the questions that every good work of dystopia should: How would people behave? What would happen to society? Would shops stay open? Would food be easily available? Simply put, how long would it be before civilization completely broke down? But the question that I think is most pertinent for each individual reader is: What would you do under these circumstances? The first two books in this trilogy have been excellent and I m looking forward to book three. --Fantasy book review, July, 2013
Now Detective Hank Palace returns in Countdown City, the second volume of the Last Policeman trilogy. There are just 77 days before a deadly asteroid collides with Earth, and Detective Palace is out of a job. With the Concord police force operating under the auspices of the U.S. Justice Department, Hank's days of solving crimes are over...until a woman from his past begs for help finding her missing husband.
Brett Cavatone disappeared without a trace—an easy feat in a world with no phones, no cars, and no way to tell whether someone’s gone “bucket list” or just gone. With society falling to shambles, Hank pieces together what few clues he can, on a search that leads him from a college-campus-turned-anarchist-encampment to a crumbling coastal landscape where anti-immigrant militia fend off “impact zone” refugees.
Countdown City presents another fascinating mystery set on brink of an apocalypse--and once again, Hank Palace confronts questions way beyond "whodunit." What do we as human beings owe to one another? And what does it mean to be civilized when civilization is collapsing all around you?