"[The] weird, beautiful, unapologetically apocalyptic Last Policeman trilogy is one of my favorite mystery series."—John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In Ben H. Winters’ unconventional and darkly funny police procedural, an asteroid hurtles toward Earth, ratcheting up the tension and setting the stage for profound questions. As humanity prepares for impact, detective Henry Palace spends most of his time investigating suicides … until a suspicious case pulls him into a mystery even more bizarre than the new normal. The first book in a trilogy, The Last Policeman introduces a tenacious, appealingly quirky hero—and a series that combines the tropes of science fiction and hardboiled crime fiction in a fresh, haunting way.
An apocalyptic premise and a knotty murder mystery collide in the first title of a planned trilogy from Edgar Award-nominee Winters (Bedbugs). Considering there's an enormous asteroid (nicknamed Maia) on course to destroy earth within six months, suicide by hanging has become the preferred way for many to bow out before the party's over. But when insurance man Peter Zell is found hung inside a McDonald's men's room stall in Concord, New Hampshire, his neck through an upmarket belt, something about the scene makes detective Hank Palace suspect murder. A young, idealistic, by-the-book cop and a no-nonsense narrator, Palace sets out to find Zell's killer and bring about justice one final time even if it's literally the last thing he does. Winters' bleak vision of a pre-apocalyptic society is laced with malice, unrest, and indifference. The economy spirals out of control, workers ignore their jobs, and Palace's colleagues on Concord's gutted police force urge him to drop the case and stop caring so much. But Palace refuses to let the future control his present, emerging as a likeable hero of the end times. A divergent subplot involving Palace's ex-girlfriend, his sister, and her radical conspiracy-theorist husband slows down the story, though its inclusion may be featured more prominently in the sequels.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Last Policeman
Murder mysteries are not usually my thing, but this was fun. The backdrop of immanent and complete destruction gives this story a strange and interesting flavor. In some ways the characters quirks and idiosyncrasies are amplified and revealed in bolder strokes. The commonplace settings, dialogue, personalities gain a poignancy seen in a fresh way and give the various characters actions greater weight and intensity. Good story. Thanks.
The Last Policeman
Barely 200 pages, mostly repetitive. Concept good - but that was only good aspect. Would have been a decent short story at best.
The Last Policeman
First time reading this author. Liked the storyline, but it was broken up by repeating pages & seemed like parts were missing. Editing & proofing seemed less than professional. Not sure I would buy another book by this author unless I could be assured there would be no similar printing errors.