The Last Policeman
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The Last Policeman : A Novel

3.78 (30,906 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In THE LAST POLICEMAN, Edgar Award winner and New York Times bestselling author Ben H. Winters, offers readers something they've never seen before: A police procedural set on the brink of an apocalypse. What's the point in solving murders when we're going to die soon, anyway? Hank Palace, a homicide detective in Concord, New Hampshire, asks this question every day. Most people have stopped doing whatever it is they did before the asteroid 2011L47J hovered into view. Stopped selling real estate; stopped working at hospitals; stopped slinging hash or driving cabs or trading high-yield securities. A lot of folks spend their days on bended knee, praying to Jesus or Allah or whoever they think might save them. Others have gone the other way, roaming the streets, enjoying what pleasures they can before the grand finale. Government services are beginning to slip into disarray, crops are left to rot. When it first appeared, 2011L47J was just a speck, somewhere beyond Jupiter's orbit. By mid-October it revealed itself to be seven kilometers in diameter, and on a crash course with the Earth.
Now it's March, and sometime in September, 2011L47J will slam into our planet and kill half the population immediately, and most of the rest in the miserable decades that follow. All of humanity now, every person in the world - we're like a bunch of little kids, in deep, deep trouble, just waiting till our dad gets home. So what do I do while I wait? I work. Today, Hank Palace is working the case of Peter Zell, an insurance man who has comitted suicide. To his fellow police officers, it's just one more death-by-hanging in a city that sees a dozen of suicides every week. But Palace senses something wrong. There's something odd about the crime scene. Something off. Palace becomes convinced that it's murder. And he's the only one who cares. What's the difference, Palace? We're all gonna die soon, anyway. As Palace digs deeper, we are drawn into his world. We meet his sister Nico and her screwup boyfriend, Derek, who are trying to beam S.O.S messages into outer space; we meet Erik Littlejohn, a spiritual advisor helping his clients through these difficult times.
Palace's investigation plays out under the long shadow of 2011L47J, forcing everyone in the book - and those reading it - to confront hard questions way beyond who-dunn-it. 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?
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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 132 x 203 x 22mm | 289g
  • Philadelphia, United States
  • English
  • 1594746745
  • 9781594746741
  • 39,115

Review quote

Winner of the 2013 Edgar (R) Award for Best Paperback Original
One of Slate's Best Books of 2012
A July 2012 Indie Next List Pick

"Winters's apocalyptic detective story contains an earth-shattering element of science fiction that lifts it beyond a typical procedural."-New York Times Book Review

"An appealing hybrid of the best of science fiction and crime fiction."-The Washington Post

"[The] weird, beautiful, unapologetically apocalyptic Last Policeman trilogy is one of my favorite mystery series."-John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns

"In his acclaimed Last Policeman trilogy, Winters showed off his mastery of edgy, sardonic wit - there's nothing like an asteroid speeding toward Earth to bring out the black humor in people."-Newsday

"Sharp, funny, and deeply wise."-Slate.com

"Darkly intriguing."-Discover

"I'm in the middle of it and can't put the dang thing down."-USA Today's Pop Candy

"Exhilarating."-E! Online

"Ben Winters makes noir mystery even darker: his latest novel sets a despondent detective on a suspicious suicide case-while an asteroid hurtles toward earth."-Wired.com

"Winters's writing is funny, surprisingly tender, and thoroughly human."-Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

"A sturdy, functional, entertaining page-turner."-Greg Cook, WBUR.org

"I'm eager to read the other books, and expect that they'll keep me as enthralled as the first one did."-Mark Frauenfedler, Boing Boing

"The Last Policeman is extraordinary-as well as brilliant, surprising, and, considering the circumstances, oddly uplifting."-Mystery Scene

"Full of compelling twists, likable characters, and a sad beauty, The Last Policeman is a gem."-San Francisco Book Review

"This is a book that asks big questions about civilization, community, desperation and hope."-io9

"In his Last Policeman trilogy, for which he won both the Edgar Award and the Philip K. Dick Award, Winters took a standard science fiction trope - the final months before an asteroid slams into Earth - and mixed it with some of the conventions of the detective novel, imbuing his apocalyptic scenario with an extra measure of urgency and poignancy."-The San Francisco Chronicle

"The Last Policeman succeeds both as a mystery, with a quirky detective and an intriguing whodunit, and as a piece of apocalyptic speculative fiction."-Sacramento News & Review

"Resonant and powerful."-Locus

"A promising kickoff to a planned trilogy. For Winters, the beauty is in the details rather than the plot's grim main thrust."-Kirkus Reviews, starred review
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About Ben H. Winters

BEN H. WINTERS is a New York Times bestselling author and an Edgar Award nominee. Ben lives in Cambridge with his wife and three children.
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Rating details

30,906 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 21% (6,481)
4 45% (13,974)
3 26% (8,110)
2 6% (1,714)
1 2% (627)
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