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The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters
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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
1,4621497,781 (3.86)1 / 251
Recently added bysbecon, miken32, private library, Keira666, deireadh, TLkirsten, DougBaker, badube
  1. 30
    Countdown City: The Last Policeman Book II (Last Policeman Trilogy) 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. 01
    The Fractal Murders by Mark Cohen (JanesList)
    JanesList: I can't explain quite why, but these two detectives remind me of each other.
  4. 01
    We all looked up by Tommy Wallach (meggyweg)
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Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
Enjoyable existentialism with everyday people told via a suicide investigated by a conscientious cop in pre-apocalyptic Concord, New Hampshire.

(There's more on my blog about The Last Policeman, here. Thank you to Quirk Books for the review copy.) ( )
  LizoksBooks | Dec 15, 2018 |
Murder mystery set before a close-future known asteroid strike, with all the societal upheaval that it entails. Really well built plot. ( )
  Guide2 | Dec 5, 2018 |
Dear Detective Hank Palace,

Your audiobook voice actor saved you from irritating me to death with your earnest and forthright manner. I'm not even sure if eagle scouts should be allowed to be paperback novel cops?

Your backstory explained some of how you developed into such a persevering single minded fellow. Capt. Dwight Towers from [b:On the Beach|38180|On the Beach|Nevil Shute|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1327943327s/38180.jpg|963772] might've better company right before an apocalypse but you sorta grew on me as I shuffled truck stop convenience store audiobook cds around .

Or maybe it's your author I enjoy? Your set-up lets him speculate about the human capacity for work, hope, love, planning, companionship and plenty more but he doesn't just navel gaze while he does it, he gives us an well structured murder mystery and a one-of-a kind detective to go along with it. Can't complain about that on-ramp to the end of life as we know it.

I think I'll be back for the sequel,

Love,

Your mostly satisfied and thoroughly engaged listener

( )
  nkmunn | Nov 17, 2018 |
The premise of this first book in a trilogy is killer. A giant asteroid is on a collision course with Earth. Suicides are up. So why does newly-minted police detective Henry Palace think an obvious "hanger," an insurance investigator found with a belt around his neck secured to the grab bar in a bathroom stall in a MacDonald's, is really a murder victim, especially when no one cares.

With six months until impact -- the exact location is still unknown -- Henry throws himself into the perceived mystery while everyone around him reacts to the impending doom. The things we currently depend on and take for granted -- cell phone service, the internet, etc. -- start to fail because people are killing themselves or quitting their jobs to spend their last days enjoying the time they have left.

Winters has fashioned an old-fashioned mystery as well as an exploration of the human psyche and the meaning of life. Henry's dogged pursuit of truth, of the why as well as the what and how, makes for compelling reading. Throw in some personal drama that Henry has to deal with, involving his flaky younger sister, and you get a very accessible work of near-future science fiction. I can't wait to start book two. ( )
  ShellyS | Nov 15, 2018 |
Although I listed this among my mystery books for the month, The Last Policeman could really be classified as a non-genre examination of what happens to society when people know the earth is going to be destroyed.

Scientists have determined that a meteorite will smash into earth in October and destroy life as we know it. Society is crumbling around Henry Palace, still trying to do his job as a Concord NH detective, a job to which he was recently promoted. He’s working on an apparent suicide that he feels is murder.

Winters say in understatement: “The end of the world changes everything, from a law-enforcement perspective.” We might question why even bother to investigate. But Winters convinces us that Henry is doing the only possible thing he can do.

I’m very much looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this trilogy.

4½ stars ( )
  ParadisePorch | Sep 17, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 152 (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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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 asteroid collision, 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.

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