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The Last Policeman (Last Policeman Series #1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

This is a joint review of the first two books in the trilogy (no

This is a joint review of the first two books in the trilogy (no spoilers).

A deadly asteroid is bound for earth. There's no hope left: People are abandoning their jobs, their responsibilities, fulfilling bucket lists, committing suicide. Hank Palace is the only police...
This is a joint review of the first two books in the trilogy (no spoilers).

A deadly asteroid is bound for earth. There's no hope left: People are abandoning their jobs, their responsibilities, fulfilling bucket lists, committing suicide. Hank Palace is the only policeman left who considers the possibility of murder when 99% of crime scenes are suicides; the only policemen left who cares enough to bother solving the case.

I can't believe I almost passed on the opportunity to read and review these two books. I'm kind of picky about mysteries, and crime fiction is usually not my thing, but the pre-apocalyptic angle intrigued me. I'm glad I took a chance, because I raced through these two books, reading them back-to-back.

There are 6 months until impact in The Last Policeman, and only 2½ months left in Countdown City. As you can imagine, society deteriorates more and more as time runs out. Both books are riveting. Ben Winters strikes the perfect balance between mystery, thriller, science, and bringing the reader into a society on the brink of devastation. The tone is never too heavy, and certainly not too light. The dialogue is fantastic. And our protagonist? Hank Palace is as kind and caring as he is fierce (when necessary).

Considering it is the first book in a trilogy, The Last Policeman had a surprisingly satisfying ending. It wrapped up in such a way that I could have easily put the series aside if I'd wanted, but that wasn't going to happen! Immediately upon finishing, I dived into Countdown City, which was equally as exciting.

What's the difference between what's lawful and what's right? When everything seems pointless, and there's no profit or gain, what choices will people make? How will people choose to spend their last few months? There's a short but especially powerful scene of readers holing themselves up in a library, devouring as many books as possible.

I couldn't read quickly enough, either: the first two books in Ben Winters's The Last Policeman trilogy are that good. I'm looking forward to reading the final installment.

I received a copy of each book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

posted by lovelybookshelf on June 11, 2014

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

This novel's average mystery plot and functional writing are ove

This novel's average mystery plot and functional writing are overwhelmingly redeemed by an exceptional, unforgettable premise. The first in a trilogy, The Last Policeman doesn't need to redefine the police procedural to be successful; if anything, the book could have ta...
This novel's average mystery plot and functional writing are overwhelmingly redeemed by an exceptional, unforgettable premise. The first in a trilogy, The Last Policeman doesn't need to redefine the police procedural to be successful; if anything, the book could have taken an even darker turn to set the tone for what's expected to come. Enjoyable as a distraction, but disturbing to dwell on -- the next two books had better deliver.

posted by prenoun on November 27, 2012

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  • Posted July 18, 2012

    interesting read, the mystery is a bit thin

    The apoloptic concept is intriguing. Winters really captures the sense of impending doom as the meteor heads towards earth and portrays a picture of the different ways in whcih people deal with what is to come. At the same time, this is a murder mystery, or so you think - because it could be a suicide - which adds to the intrigue. The only problem is when I actually got to the part where I find out what happened, it just wasn't that credible. I thought Winters could have developed the mystery and the "crime" more cleanly and in a way that was believable. This is apparenlty the first of a trilogy, and i think it is a strong start and will read the next one when it comes out.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    Magic cover- will not allow you to put it down

    This is the first in a trilogy of an End of the World series. The Earth is in the path of an Asteroid and will be destroyed in six months. Everyone knows it, so ask yourself what would you do. Ben Winters' end of the world brings a halt to work for the most part. People retire and chase their dreams. Many, many go back to church.
    This is the story of a young policeman who is a new detective who, oddly enough, wants to keep working and solving crimes. You have to love him and his dedication while everything around him melts down.

    The next two books are set at 3 months and final. A friend of mine said to me that she does not read series until they are all out. I could not stop myself from this one- read the library copy and then bought a copy of my own. Brilliant in the many different observances of how people react to the knowledge of "THE END." Read it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Ben H. Winters. You might recognize this author's name - he pen

    Ben H. Winters. You might recognize this author's name - he penned the
    New York Times bestseller Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.
    Winters' latest book The Last Policeman is just as imaginative and
    inventive. I've got a fondness for post apocalyptic fiction, but
    Winters has penned a pre-apocalyptic novel. The Last Policeman is set
    in the months before the world as we know it will end. It is inevitable
    - an asteroid is going to hit the earth and the impact will destroy our
    planet. What would you do, knowing the world was ending? Start ticking
    off items on your bucket list? End things on your terms? Henry Castle
    does none of that, instead he continues on as normal. He's a newly
    appointed detective on a police force that is dwindling, both in
    resources and manpower. When Henry is called to an apparent suicide, he
    can't shake the niggling feeling that this death may not be what it
    looks like. And in a world about to end, Henry pursues this case as a
    murder. Henry was such an engaging character - earnest, forthright,
    honest, polite, trusting and an anomaly in these times. Even though the
    world will end, he chooses to stay true to himself and his beliefs until
    the day that happens. Winters' plot is full of twists and red herrings.
    I truly enjoyed Hank's dogged and determined pursuit of the truth.
    "Right at this moment I have to decide, is the thing. Am I going to
    leave town and go north to Maine and find a house on Casco Bay and sit
    there and stare out the window with my sidearm and wait, or am I going
    to stay here and do my work and finish my case. My cases." I've
    read lots of post apocalyptic fiction, but it was interesting to read
    Winters' view of what the world might hold before that final blow.
    Winters gives us lots of food for thought in people's actions and words.
    There's a secondary plot involving Hank's sister, that I thought was
    filler until the last few chapters. It caught me off guard and piqued my
    interest for the next book, as The Last Policeman is the first in a
    trilogy. The Last Policeman was an unusual blend of sci-fi and mystery
    that just worked. I'm curious to see what else will happen before the
    asteroid hits.....or after.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2012

    Pre-apocalyptic police procedural with reading.

    What would you do if you knew the world was coming to an end? Would you care if a stranger died under suspicious circumstances knowing everyone will be dying soon enough? These are the questions that haunt Detective Frank Palace in Ben H. Winters’, pre-apocalyptic detective tale, The Last Policeman. A truly unique police procedural set in a future nearing extinction. Our meticulous detective Palace is difficult not to like as he struggles with business as usual when life is anything but usual. A smooth flowing and engaging story specked with elevations in vocabulary that gives the novel a certain panache. I for one will be eagerly awaiting the next novel in Winters’ The Last Policeman trilogy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2014

    Great mystery and suspense

    This was a fun read! Classic detective novel with a new twist!

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  • Posted October 1, 2014

    A wonderful story set about 7 months before the end of the world

    A wonderful story set about 7 months before the end of the world.  How do I know it’s the end of the world because a giant asteroid is hurtling towards earth and Detective Henry Palace is investigating a suicide, or is it?  With the world coming to an end the detective ignores his co-workers and conventional wisdom and gives it his all knowing anything he does will be undone in just a few months.
    I didn’t have a lot of time to read this book so it took me a while but every time I picked it back up I didn’t want to stop. The story is engaging and Henry is just great.  I found myself identifying with him and feeling part of the story which is a testament to the writing.  I can’t wait to start in to the rest of trilogy!

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  • Posted June 15, 2014

    The protagonist of this book called to mind Arkady Renko (Gorky

    The protagonist of this book called to mind Arkady Renko (Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith), a cop compelled to do his job as society collapses around him.  It wasn't the most involved plot in the world, but it's a great premise. I wonder if it wouldn't have been stronger as a longer, stand alone novel. I kind of hate the trilogy of short books phenomena as it often makes for three watered down stories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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