Book Review: The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

the last policeman

View from the window seat:
It’s only the fifth review and I’m already straying from YA. But when I found out that this book was about the months before an extinction-level asteroid hits Earth, I couldn’t help myself. I LOVE apocalyptic things and a pre-apocalyptic novel sounded right up my alley. I mean…Deep Impact is one of my favorite movies ever. Hank Palace is a policeman trying to solve a possible murder case while the asteroid Maia draws closer to Earth. The beginning was slow, as everyone dismisses Palace’s suspicions that his case is more than a suicide. The story isn’t really about a murder investigation, though. Palace admirably strives to live his life in the time remaining while so many people around the world are simply giving up and committing suicide. Palace is the most sympathetic character of the book, with his steadfast commitment to his job even though he’s doomed and his caring for the dead stranger of his case. The novel asks the reader a bigger question than simply “who’s the murderer?”: what would you do if you only had six months to live? This book is marketed as the first in a trilogy, and the ending sets up the next books to be about a wider conspiracy.

Overall impression:
Though it starts off slow, The Last Policeman is an interesting take on a pre-apocalyptic world and I’m curious about where the author will take the story, and Palace, next.


Note: I received this ARC from the publisher at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference.


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