More titles to consider

Shopping Cart

You're getting the VIP treatment!

With the purchase of Kobo VIP Membership, you're getting 10% off and 2x Kobo Super Points on eligible items.

itemsitem
See your RECOMMENDATIONS

Synopsis

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?




From the Trade Paperback edition.

Book Reviews

The Last Policeman: A Novel
Average rating
3.8 / 5
A meaningless murder in a dying planet
November 6th, 2015
The Last Policeman tells the story of Hank Palace, a detective from a small town in the state of Washington that is obsessed in trying to solve a supposed suicide of a insurance policy analyst in a McDonald's bathroom, one that he suspects to be actually a homicide. This would be an ordinary police story if it wasn't for Maia, an asteroid that is set to strike Earth in half a year and basically extinguish life on the planet. The Last Policeman raises the question: What is the point in trying to solve a homicide in a world where everyone is doom to die? Palace frequently faces this disregard attitude from other cops, more concerned with news from the asteroid than actually working. He even becomes a joke among his colleagues, that call his investigation an attempted homicide; because he is "trying to make it into a homicide", when they are perfectly fine with branding it at a suicide and leaving it at that. I liked a lot this creative "pre-apocalyptic" scenario that shows a society that still functions, but that is dying a bit every day. There is a growing collapse on the telephone system, gas has run out and only government vehicles work, violence and drug use runs rampart, some try to stock up on weapons and food and face the Apocalypse, suicides become commonplace. The book takes care not to dump too much information on the reader, but space it as the narrative goes on. There are several turns on the story, all very well integrated. Palace also does not go into the classic detective stereotypes, like a Sherlock Homes wannabe or a noir anti-hero. He is a rookie and knows it. He follows false leads on his investigation, is conned and loses clues that were right in front of him. But by sheer obstination he manages to stride forward where others gave up. The Last Policeman is the first book on a trilogy and I am curious to see how author Ben H. Winters will continue the series. He already said that each book will deal with a crime and show the disintegration of the world and how this influences with Hank's work. But I guess what I liked the most about The Last Policeman was how it portrayed the humble death of a insurance policy analyst in a world worried about bigger issues. Detective Hanks is not Bruce Willis in Armageddon, he has no illusions about saving the world or trying to save anything. He is just a guy trying to live one day after the other while he still has days to live. Something that, asteroid or not, I think we all could benefit from.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
The Last Policeman
July 1st, 2015
Well written. Dynamic and intriguing setting. Mediocre mystery. I will read the rest of the trilogy for the asteroid.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
January 26th, 2014
One of the best mysteries I've read in a long time. Setting a detective story against an imminent apocalypse (there's a giant asteroid speeding towards the earth) is wonderfully macabre and heart-wrenching. Winters catalogs the breakdown of society just as elegantly as the mystery Hank Palace is working to solve. Definitely recommended.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review

You can read this item using any of the following Kobo apps and devices:

  • DESKTOP
  • eREADERS
  • TABLETS
  • IOS
  • ANDROID
  • BLACKBERRY
  • WINDOWS