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Countdown City: The Last Policeman Book II (Last Policeman Trilogy 2) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Length: 322 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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It's an intelligent, thought-provoking thriller, with a great eye for detail and an engaging plot, set against one of the most original premises of recent years. Ben Winters has shown that pre-apocalyptic fiction can be even more interesting than the standard post-apocalyptic stories, and I honestly cannot wait for the final part of this trilogy. --Starburst magazine, July, 2013----The finest, and possibly only, example of apocalyptic noir. Not just highly recommended this is essential reading for any fan of crime fiction, or, indeed, of books in general. --Classic Mystery wordpress, June, 2013

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

About the Author

Ben H. Winters is a New York Times-bestselling author and an Edgar Award nominee. His novels include Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (Quirk 2009; 10+ weeks on the NYT Best Seller List), the Edgar-Award nominated YA novel The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman (HarperCollins 2009), and Bedbugs (Quirk 2011), which was hailed by Vanity Fair as a diabolical tale of paranoia. Ben lives in Cambridge with his wife and three children.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3843 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books (16 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B6OV90E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #124,412 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Please note Countdown City is the direct sequel to The Last Policeman. If you haven't read the first book in this series then this review will likely contain spoilers. Got it? Good, now forward to the end of the world.

I read The Last Policeman last August and fell a little bit in love with the premise. That first book, quite justifiably in my opinion, was well received and even went on to win an Edgar award. I make no secret of my love for apocalyptic fiction. It turns out that pre-apocalyptic crime is a wonderful sub-set of this genre.

There is a short time jump between book one and two. The Last Policeman takes place six month before the asteroid is due to hit while book two has moved to three months before. Hank Palace continues to be an engrossing character. His introspective nature is the perfect counterpoint to the increasingly desperate events that are going on round about him. Society is literally falling apart, but he remains steadfast in his dedication to his job. For Hank, it's more than a job, it's a calling. While others "go Bucket List", happy to see out their final days as experience junkies, Hank continues to work. It doesn't matter that technically he is no longer a cop, it's the nature of his character, he just can't let an unsolved crime go.

Once again Hank is helped/hindered by his kid sister Nico. She continues to harbour her own obsessions. She is convinced that there is a huge governmental conspiracy going on. The shadowy powers that be are allowing this global disaster to occur so that they can pick up the pieces that are left behind. This speculation is what forms the basis of the larger story arc that links all three books together. I have a burning curiosity to see where this particular thread of the narrative goes next.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the second novel in The Last Policeman trilogy. While it could be read as a standalone, I wouldn't recommend it. This is a trilogy to savour. The review of The Last Policeman is here.

With just 77 days until Maia, an asteroid hell bent on destroying life of Earth, hits, Detective Henry (Hank) Palace is out of a job. Police stations are closed, as are most businesses, and only the most persistent of optimists can bother to bring some normality to everyday life, through running cafes with little food or opening shops with little stock. Suicides are commonplace, many other people have vanished to chase their Bucket List dreams. Electricity is only a memory as are phones, money, fuel. Hank Palace relies on his ten-speed bicycle to get around New Hampshire, his dog Houdini towed along in a little wagon. Hank might not have official cases to crack but, ever the detective, Hank cannot stop identifying puzzles, chasing leads, writing down all the evidence, helping people. Right now he works to help the children orphaned or abandoned on the streets of Concord, finding their lost items, giving them a little bit of security, some adult protection.

One day, Martha Cavatone, the woman who helped to look after Hank and Nico during a most desperate time in their own childhood, asks Hank for help. Her husband has disappeared. Everyone else thinks, and the clues certainly support this, that Martha's husband is one of the many Bucket Listers, but Hank agrees that he would never have left Martha to die alone without good reason. Wanting to help but also satisfying his own deeply ingrained need to keep being a detective, Hank calls on his sister Nico to help him help Martha. Nico, though, is wayward, defiant and brave, believing that America and the world are victim to a great conspiracy.
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By Nick Brett TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback
As an asteroid heads towards Earth for an extinction event, people have different ways of spending the last few months of their existence.

Young Hank Palace is a detective thrown out of the force as they ceased to bother detecting anything. But his natural instinct is to help people and investigate. He copes with the impending end of everything by doing what he always wanted to do. Detect and help but now there are no phones, no internet, no facilities or cars. And not many people that care.

Within this environment of a decaying society and a change of values, Hank follows up on a missing person and the trail takes him into some strange and dangerous places..

I enjoyed this as much as I did the first book, a great deal. Hank is a 'normal' guy just doing what he always wanted to. He makes mistakes is not a gun wielding hero but an everyday guy through which a horrible world is depicted.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the way the world ends, whimpering whilst waiting for the bang.
Hank Palace does what he does best - he promises to try to find a missing man. But this is the end of days when people tend to go missing at a moment's notice; pursuing their dreams as best they can (fitting in a lifetime's hope into a few, uncertain days), abandoning those who they feel have held them back.
In these last days nothing is sure, everything stands on the edge of chaos. People die in pointless violence, food grows short, there's no power, there's talk of the water being switched off... This being America, conspiracy theories abound and hope is cast about in the winds of desolate reality. One last chance to build Utopia, even if it's only going to last a few months.
... but Hank Palace does what he does best, and so he sets of to find a missing man in a world whose days are numbered.
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