162. The Last Policeman (Ben H Winters)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013
It's no secret; a lot of the books I read (especially fiction) are recommendations from friends, family and coworkers.  The latest work of fiction I devoured was thanks to my buddy Heather.  She read Ben Winters' sixth book, The Last Policeman, over the winter and I quickly added it to my wishlist but only got around to reading it this month.  I DEVOURED it.  Seriously.  What was not to love?  A great murder mystery set in a pre-apocalyptic world (look out! Asteroid!).  I'm so excited to read that this is the first in a trilogy and am eagerly awaiting the next installment.
 
From the author's website:
What's the point in solving murders if we're all going to die? Detective Hank Palace has asked this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. Several kilometers wide, it's on a collision course with planet Earth, with just six precious months until impact. The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. Industry is grinding to a halt. Most people have abandoned their jobs. But not Hank Palace. As our story opens, he's investigating the latest suicide in a city that's full of suicides—only this one feels wrong. This one feels like homicide. And Palace is the only one who cares. What's the point in solving murders if we're all going to die?

As I savoured the last few words, I instantly began imagining who I knew that I could recommend this to?  My dad, definitely. My SIL, for sure.  Eugene (aka Mr. Anchovy), of course.  To be honest, I think this novel has a wide appeal and everyone who enjoys reading could find something they love in it.   Please please please make this into a movie!
 
I'm not normally a big fan of first person narrative but it was the perfect device to tell this particular story.  Living this story through Detective Palace's eyes, the feelings of helplessness and despair all around him washes over you and the reader becomes drawn deep into the mystery. As Heather wrote, one of the most outstanding aspects of the novel is not the intriguing mystery but the way Winters writes about how the participants are coping.

What would you do if you knew the world was ending?
 

2 comments:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I love the premise of this! Thanks for the recommendation, I will certainly be looking for this one.

Heather said...

So glad you enjoyed it, Karen!

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