SciFi Book Review: The Last Policeman

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

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.

Detective Palace is a regular guy with a better outlook than most. Since the announcement of an impending asteroid impact, suicides are on the rise. And though this latest hanging looks like another suicide, Palace is the only one who believes it was murder. Chaos is looming, but Palace is dedicated to his job – when not many are.

The Last Policeman is a gritty but believable look at a possible future if an apocalyptic event were about to happen – paired with a murder mystery. A well-paced read with an engaging story, this is more than a shallow mystery and will make readers reflect. There is a climactic ending with a big reveal, but also an intriguing cliffhanger that will carry over to the next in this fascinating trilogy.

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