Book Read: The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

02 Jan 2015
Posted by jcfiala

I'm lucky enough to have started come across a recommendation of this book in another blog, and was up until about 12:30 last night finishing the damn thing, because I just had to stay on and see how it ended. So, I think it's pretty damn good. Plus, I'll warn you that this book won an Edgar award in 2013 for "Best Original Paperback", so apparently a bunch of other folks also liked it.

It's the end of the world. There's a big asteroid coming, and it's on a collision course with Earth. In another six or so months, it'll hit the planet, killing just about everyone on that side of the globe, and then kicking up enough dirt into the sky to freeze and starve everyone on the other side. As such, the world's not in great shape - lots of folks have dropped their jobs to run off and clear their Bucket List, lots of other people have decided to end it early, and Detective Hank Palace's main job seems to be clearing suicides, which leads to trouble when his latest suicide feels wrong to him, and no one else seems to care.

It's a good mystery, with false trails and odd clues, and I didn't see the solution until after Hank did. It's also happily one of those novels which doesn't hide clues from you to make the detective seem smarter, which I appreciate. And it's got a good sci-fi backing with the upcoming apocalypse - it's very much a different world, but it's based on our world with well-thought out changes.

There's two sequels, which I'm looking forward to reading as well. I recommend reading this.