Friday, December 19, 2014

Review: The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters


Fiction - Mystery, Crime, Science Fiction
Published July 10th 2012 by Quirk Books
Source: PB, Won from The Book Smugglers
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?


Overall, the book was well-crafted mystery, it was wrote by a brilliant writer. I was not expecting to get the chance to read this book but I glad I did give it a try. It was surprisingly good even though the pacing was a bit slow. Some chapters are way too long and nothing's happening. I almost gave up but then as I reached a certain point in this book, where everything about the murder case makes sense already, I decided NOT to stop. I was curious enough to know what happens next, that I couldn't stop reading the book even though it's already 2 AM (and my Mom is scolding me).

"What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway?"

The question above is what everyone asks when somebody is trying to solve a murder case even though we're all going to die soon. What's the point? I obviously don't know what's the point but try asking that to Detective Hank Palace -- the main character in this book, the man who's still trying to solve cases even though in just six months, the Earth will be struck by a huge asteroid. And it will practically kill every living thing that gets on its way. Everyone has heard about the asteroid already and they know when it's going to hit our dear planet, Earth -- because of the asteroid, a lot of people think that there's no point in living anymore.

At first I was like,"This Palace guy is weird," since he's a man of few words and as a character, he's dull. But as the story progresses, I get to know him more and there I realized what he's been through. He lost both of his parents in a such a young age and he was left with his little sister, Nico, with his disinterested and stern grandfather. At that point, I felt sorry for him and for everything he's been through. I adore his determination in solving cases even though humanity will end in six precious months.

I was blown away with how Winters wrote this book. Definitely brilliant. The world building was amazing, it literally felt like ghost town. Only few people around and buildings are being burned down, killings here and there. It's like Zombieland except there's no zombies. At all.

I'm definitely looking forward to read the other books in this promising post-apocalyptic trilogy. I am actually done with Countdown City, the second book in the trilogy, just recently. I'm devouring the third book now! I've read Adult novels about science fiction, time traveling and romance before but this was different, in an amazing way. Recommended for people who loves mystery in a post-apocalyptic setting.

My issue is that the pacing was slow but it got better though. I'd still recommend it to mystery aficionados.

A well-crafted mystery set in a post-apocalyptic situation. Definitely recommended for those people who enjoys reading mystery novels with the hint of science-fiction.

Troglodyte forever,

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