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The Last Policeman

by Ben H. Winters

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Last Policeman (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,8491747,323 (3.82)1 / 278
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.
  1. 40
    Countdown City by Ben H. Winters (sturlington)
    sturlington: Countdown City is the sequel to the Last Policeman
  2. 10
    The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon (EerierIdyllMeme)
    EerierIdyllMeme: Noir mysteries exploring interesting hypothetical settings with ticking timers.
  3. 00
    The Fractal Murders by Mark Cohen (JanesList)
    JanesList: I can't explain quite why, but these two detectives remind me of each other.
  4. 00
    We all looked up by Tommy Wallach (meggyweg)
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» See also 278 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 178 (next | show all)
I'm not sure that the mystery itself would be compelling without the ... pressure of the rest of the situation. But because of that pressure the characters and situation become more dynamic and resonant. If it were a slightly different book the main character would be upholding the law because that's the right thing to do, and order must be maintained. That is there a bit, but instead a point is made that many people are going to do "what they've always wanted" and this is what this character has wanted. It is simply who he is and I can respect that.

I also like that there isn't a clear answer about whether this was all worth it. The mystery is solved and the person responsible is identified but there is a /lot/ of collateral damage. Would everyone have been better off if Palace had accepted the easy lie? Is anyone better off because he couldn't? Is there a place for justice at the end of the world? ( )
  suzannekmoses | May 20, 2022 |
Boring protagonist/narrator, needlessly convoluted plot, generally a slog. ( )
  wideblacksky | Mar 19, 2022 |
I kept waiting for this to get interesting, then realized I was three-quarters of the way through the book and quit. The characters seemed flat to me, more words given to the women's appearances than to their dialog. The main guy was kind of schmo, and egotistical about his mediocrity. I think the point was some sort of moral victory of duty combined with a deep psychological study of the individual. It wasn't made well. I didn't even skip to the end to see if the world ended or not. ( )
  BrielM | Mar 1, 2022 |
This is the first detective novel I have read, believe it or not. I don't know if the the way the story unfolded was typical; but the pace, clues, characters, and action were great. The fact that it took place in a post-apocalyptic setting made it amazing. ( )
  ragendem | Dec 29, 2021 |
This book was a mixture of detective/crime and post-apocalyptic genres. Doesn't seem like that combo would actually work, but the depiction of the slow breakdown of society and the reactions of people knowing that the end of the world is coming soon seems extremely plausible to me. I'm not usually a fan of crime novels, but this book was so interesting that I'll be looking for the next in the series soon. ( )
  KrakenTamer | Oct 23, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 178 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

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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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

No library descriptions found.

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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