A promising kickoff to a planned trilogy. For Winters, the beauty is in the details rather than the plot's grim main thrust --Kirkus Reviews; STARRED review--Absolutely outstanding...this gets the higest recommendation I can give. Buy it. --Classic Mystery, June, 2012---Normally, only Stephen King and Dean Koontz can suck me into a book and not release their stranglehold until I, exhausted from lack of sleep, have turned the last page. Now [Ben Winters] has joined their ranks... The Last Policeman is extraordinary as well as brilliant, surprising, and, considering the circumstances, oddly uplifting --Mystery Scene magazine, July, 2012----set in a world not too different from our own, with one major difference. A 6.5 km asteroid is on a collision course with Earth, and within six months the vast majority of life on the planet will be wiped out, with the few human souls that survive the coming apocalypse living in permanent winter where the light of the sun will not penetrate the layers of debris thrown into the atmosphere by the impact. The infrastructure that so many of us rely on is, slowly but surely, breaking down. People are quitting their jobs to spend time with their families, or to fill their last days with their 'bucket list' fantasies. Fuel and food are scarce. The electricity supply and mobile reception are sporadic, and getting worse as more people abandon their jobs and repairs to these core services are ignored. Suicide is so frequent that the police no longer bother investigating them. Against this background, we are introduced to Detective Hank Palace. Hank has only been in the job for a few months, the resulting promotion because of an older colleague quitting to become a 'bucket lister'. When Hank is called to a probable suicide in the toilet of a McDonalds, it seems like an open and shut case. But something about the case does not sit well with Hank. He thinks that a murder has been committed and spends the book struggling against a tide of apathy to try and prove that his instincts were right. The Last Policeman is a fascinating novel. I honestly can't ever remember reading a book that dealt with the way that society falls apart in the face of impending apocalypse before, and it makes for a very compelling read. The characters are all well drawn, and the sense of defeat for almost every person in this world, as they wait for their inevitable demise is a palatable force that drives the narrative along. While the main plot of the book is fairly standard police procedural fare, the descriptions of society in terminal decline are absolutely riveting. This novel is apparently the first of a trilogy, and in truth, I really cannot wait for the next instalment. --Starburst Magazine, August, 2012-----This book may win the prize for the most intriguing premise of the year. If you knew that the world was going to end would you keep on doing the job that you do now? ........ Winters plays with the readers expectations and I ll admit there were a couple of moments that managed to catch me completely off guard. The thing to remember is that normal rules no longer apply, and character motivations are entirely different from what you would expect in a standard murder mystery. The good news is that there are another two novels set to follow on from The Last Policeman. One set three months before the asteroid is due to hit and one set in Earth s final month. I have to admit that I am already insanely curious about what is going to happen. .....Winters has left just enough loose ends in the plot to keep this reader interested. He has crafted a story that manages to avoid being entirely downbeat or pessimistic and instead offers just the smallest glimmer of hope. I have to admit that I kind of liked that. I ll be checking these out as soon as I can get my hands on them...... ----The Eloquent Page, Sept, 2012
Winner of the 2013 Edgar® Award Winner for Best Paperback Original!
What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway?
Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. There’s no chance left. No hope. Just six precious months until impact.
The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job—but not Hank Palace. He’s investigating a death by hanging in a city that sees a dozen suicides every week—except this one feels suspicious, and Palace is the only cop who cares.
The first in a trilogy, The Last Policeman offers a mystery set on the brink of an apocalypse. As Palace’s investigation plays out under the shadow of 2011GV1, we’re confronted by hard questions way beyond “whodunit.” What basis does civilization rest upon? What is life worth? What would any of us do, what would we really do, if our days were numbered?
Ebook contains an excerpt from the anticipated second book in the trilogy, Countdown City.