May 12, 2014

#Review of The Last Policeman (Last Policeman #1) by @BenHWinters #Published @QuirkBooks

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?


Ben H. Winters is the author of seven novels, including Countdown City, a nominee for the Philip K. Dick Award, and The Last Policeman, which won an Edgar Award, was nominated for the Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel, and was an Best Book of 2012. His other books include Bedbugs, Android Karenina, the New York Times bestseller Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, and the middle-grade novels The Mystery of the Everything and The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman, a Bank Street Best Book of 2011 and an Edgar Award nominee. Ben is also the author of many plays and musicals for children and adults, and he has written for national and local publications including the Chicago Tribune, Slate, and the Huffington Post. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he teaches at Butler Univsity, and he blogs at 

I really loved the concept of this book.  The world is ending in 6 months and Hank is tossed into the police position he always wanted.  Then he finds a murder.  I loved the fact that even though the world is ending that he isn't going to stand by and let a murderer go free. But, I also thought that this made the story drag a little.  As Hank really isn't dealing with the end game of hey THE WORLD IS ENDING! So although this was a very interesting concept.  I think it could have been done just a little bit better.  I understand Hank wanted to find the murder but he went about it by destroying others last months on Earth.  So all in all I really felt that Hank was a jerk.  
If I had 6 months to live via that everyone was going to die.  I don't think I would worry about rent etc.  I don't think many people would still go to work or school.  Deciding to either 1. commit suicide which I know sounds bad. But I know that it would happen. 2. Run as far away as you could. I don't know find a bomb shelter or something. lol and of course 3. Just live however you could until the last moments.  

I don't think I would handle this very well.  I don't think I would do the suicide route but I know that I wouldn't be worrying about some murder. Because in the end the person who did it is going to die anyway. 

"All opinions are 100% honest and my own."
The Last Policeman is set in a world in which a massive asteroid is hurtling toward Earth, but the novel centers on one detective's murder investigation. Where did you get the idea to combine these two disparate elements of storytelling?
Well, you know, story ideas are like giant planet-dooming asteroids: they always take you by surprise. But I've always had a soft spot for certain kinds of science fiction, books that imagine one grand change to the human situation and tease it out. P. D. James's Children of Men is a marvelous example, or Philip José Farmer's Riverworld series. 
The "pre-apocalyptic" side of this "pre-apocalyptic murder mystery" definitely came first. I thought it would be fascinating to imagine my way into the sad and terrifying last months of civilization. Then I set about imagining the right hero for this kind of book, and I thought that what I needed was someone who is extremely dedicated to his work, who cannot let the world end before solving the puzzle before him. That's where the character of Detective Henry Palace came from, my intensely, even bizarrely dedicated public servant.
The obligatory question: What would you do if Earth would be annihilated in six months?
Well, I'm under contract with Quirk Books to write the sequel to The Last Policeman, so first I'd get that done. 
Just kidding. I think, honestly, that I would spend time with my children. I'd read them a lot of books, and take them to beautiful places, and try to prevent them from hearing anything about what was coming. (The idea of that, by the way, makes me tearful, as it did periodically over the course of writing this.) 
Can you give us any details about the upcoming second and third novels in the series?
Like The Last Policeman, each of the sequels will have at its center a crime that Palace is trying to solve. But, also like this one, each will be at least equally interested in the details of the disintegrating world, and in plumbing the psyche of this lawman: how and why he remains "on the job" even as the job, along with the rest of civilization, crumbles around him.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Goodreads and Amazon for the book cover, about the book, and author information.


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