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The Last Policeman by Ben Winters
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The Last Policeman (edition 2012)

by Ben Winters

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80110711,418 (3.86)136
Member:JBD1
Title:The Last Policeman
Authors:Ben Winters
Info:Quirk Books
Collections:Removed
Rating:****
Tags:Fiction, Read in 2012

Work details

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

  1. 20
    Countdown City by Ben H. Winters (sturlington)
    sturlington: Countdown City is the sequel to the Last Policeman
  2. 10
    The Fractal Murders by Mark Cohen (JanesList)
    JanesList: I can't explain quite why, but these two detectives remind me of each other.
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» See also 136 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
This book was okay. Maybe better than okay, the writing is pretty good, but heck - I'm not a big mystery/police procedural/investigation kind of reader. And despite the fact that I read this for my sci fi/fantasy book group, that's all this is.

Yes, the premise is interesting: pre-apocalypse comet drama and the resulting mayhem as everyone looks death in the face. But sci-fi? I just don't think it counts.This is a murder mystery.

I liked the main character, and this was a quick, pleasant-enough read. I'm not interested enough to read further installments, though, even though the idea of what happens to society when it believes it's got a real expiration date is actually pretty interesting. Just not enough to drag me into reading another mystery. ( )
  ThePortPorts | Feb 27, 2015 |
I told a book group recently that I don't like mystery's. Well I admit that I need to rethink that. Obviously not all mystery's are created equal. What got me was the impending end of the world theme,but its not the story. There is a policeman. A murder. And in the back drop the inevitable. I was sucked in and could not stop reading until I finished the book. One of those shut yourself in a room, leave the husband and teenager to fend for themselves for a 24 hour time period page turner. I enjoyed this immensely. I have the next to books in the series on order. I kinda feel like a junkie and need my fix. ( )
  jaddington | Feb 16, 2015 |
I told a book group recently that I don't like mystery's. Well I admit that I need to rethink that. Obviously not all mystery's are created equal. What got me was the impending end of the world theme,but its not the story. There is a policeman. A murder. And in the back drop the inevitable. I was sucked in and could not stop reading until I finished the book. One of those shut yourself in a room, leave the husband and teenager to fend for themselves for a 24 hour time period page turner. I enjoyed this immensely. I have the next to books in the series on order. I kinda feel like a junkie and need my fix. ( )
  jaddington | Feb 16, 2015 |
The mystery speciality bookstore in Winnipeg, Whodunit, had a recommendation for this series in their pre-Christmas newsletter. When I read the description I thought my sister would be intrigued by the book so I bought it for her as a Christmas present. She did like it and, thankfully, she loaned it to me to read. I thought it was a great read and I hope my sister will get through the rest of the books soon.

Hank Palace has just achieved his life-long dream of becoming a police detective. Since he is only 28 years old and had been on the Concord police force for only a few years this seems like a meteoric rise. But, in fact, his promotion is due to a meteor. An asteroid is due to hit earth in 6 months time and the impact will probably mean the end of life for most of Earth's inhabitants. Many people have given up their jobs; some people have killed themselves. That's what it looks like Peter Zell, an accountant with an insurance company, has done but Hank has his doubts. Even though it seems futile to investigate his death when everyone is going to die shortly Hank continues to look into it. Before he is finished there will be more dead and he will uncover more crimes.

It is really interesting to conjecture about the end of the world although I certainly hope I will never have to experience it. Since I am no longer working I wouldn't have to make a decision about a job. But what would I do if the world as I know it was going to disappear? Just think of all the books I would never have time to read! This book is a real page turner but it also gives you lots to think about. ( )
  gypsysmom | Feb 11, 2015 |
I began reading The Last Policeman with seriously high hopes for the series. The idea of a asteroid connecting with Earth and destroying humanity is terrifying and thrilling. I really hoped that with this premise, along with a police mystery, would be an equation for an amazing story.
It was, but it wasn't. I was happy with the book and throughly enjoyed it, but it didn't blow me away either. Winters is an excellent author and did a great job creating the character of Detective Palace and setting the scene on which this story unfolds. Knowing this is a trilogy, I have to take that into consideration when I think back to the beginning of this novel. While reading, I felt that it just took much too long to get into the meat and potatoes of the story. I understand that in a series it is essential to lay a foundation on which the story can develop, but for me it was just a tad bit too much here. I struggled to get into the book and stay engaged.... that is, until I got about halfway through. THEN things picked up.
As Palace gets deeper into the mystery of his hanger, I couldn't put the book down. Once things really got moving, this novel had some serious heat. The asteroid was there, hanging out in the background, while this gigantic mystery begins to unfold... and then Winters throws in a small little tidbit of information that opens up a whole new can of worms.. and oh do I hope hope hope that this little tidbit of conspiracy theory is a big part of the rest of this series.
Winters may have bored me a bit in the beginning, but looking back with the lens of a series foundation, I get it and appreciate it. Once The Last Policeman got moving, I was caught in Winters grasp and am now waiting with baited breath for the next novel to come out. ( )
  littlebirdreads | Feb 10, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Winters, Ben H.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Horner, DoogieDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McGurk, John J.Production managersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pushnik, JonathanCover photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"Even for Voltaire, the supreme rationalist, a purely rational suicide was something prodigious and slightly grotesque, like a comet or a two-headed sheep." -- A. Alvarez, The Savage God: A Study of Suicide
"And there's a slow, slow train comin', up around the bend." -- Bob Dylan, "Slow Train"
Dedication
To Andrew Winters, of the Concord Winters
First words
I'm staring at the insurance man and he's staring at me, two cold gray eyes behind old-fashioned tortoiseshell frames, and I'm having this awful and inspiring feeling, like holy moly this is real, and I don't know if I'm ready, I really don't.
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Book description
What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die? Detective Hank Palace has asked this question ever since asteroid 2011L47J hovered into view. Several kilometers wide, it’s on a collision course with planet Earth, with just six precious months until impact.

The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. Industry is grinding to a halt. Most people have abandoned their jobs. But not Hank Palace. As our story opens, he’s investigating the latest suicide in a city that’s full of suicides—only this one feels wrong. This one feels like homicide. And Palace is the only one who cares. What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die?

The Last Policeman offers a story we’ve never read before: A police procedural set on the brink of an apocalypse. What would any of us do, what would we really do, if our days were numbered?
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When the Earth is doomed by an imminent and unavoidable asteroid collision, New Hampshire homicide detective Hank Palace considers the worth of his job in a world destined to end in six months and investigates a suspicious suicide that nobody else cares about.… (more)

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