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Countdown City: The Last Policeman, Book 2 | [Ben H. Winters]

Countdown City: The Last Policeman, Book 2

There are just 77 days to go before a deadly asteroid collides with Earth, and Detective Hank Palace is out of a job. With the Concord police force operating under the auspices of the U.S. Justice Department, Hank’s days of solving crimes are over - until a woman from his past begs for help finding her missing husband....
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Publisher's Summary

There are just 77 days to go before a deadly asteroid collides with Earth, and Detective Hank Palace is out of a job. With the Concord police force operating under the auspices of the U.S. Justice Department, Hank’s days of solving crimes are over - until a woman from his past begs for help finding her missing husband.

Brett Cavatone disappeared without a trace - an easy feat in a world with no phones, no cars, and no way to tell whether someone’s gone "bucket list" or just gone. With society falling to shambles, Hank pieces together what few clues he can, on a search that leads him from a college-campus-turned-anarchist-encampment to a crumbling coastal landscape where anti-immigrant militia fend off "impact zone" refugees.

The second novel in the Last Policeman trilogy, Countdown City presents a fascinating mystery set on the brink of an apocalypse - and once again, Hank Palace confronts questions way beyond "whodunit." What do we as human beings owe to one another? And what does it mean to be civilized when civilization is collapsing all around you?

©2013 Ben H. Winters (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Extraordinary - as well as brilliant, surprising, and, considering the circumstances, oddly uplifting." (Mystery Scene Magazine)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (207 )
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4.3 (186 )
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  •  
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 08-14-13
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 08-14-13 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Performance
    Story
    "Don't bother buying a new watch battery"
    Would you listen to Countdown City again? Why?

    I dont' generally listen to books more than once.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes, very much so. This series is highly compelling, and this addition is certainly no exception. Our proantagonist is a wonderfully complex character, living in wildly stressful times and situations.

    This is a very unique storyline, namely pursuing pretty standard day to day policing situations under the loom of the end of days. It would be easy to write yet another doomsday scenario story, but Winters choses to bring us along with the mundane daily aspects of life, and that further escalates the sense of foreboding.

    Well done in all regards.


    What does Peter Berkrot bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Wow, where do I start. Berkrot owns this book. RIght up there with Hiil, Guidall and Brick. This book is listenable simply due to him , let alone the story. Colour, nuance and tone are all there in spades, and he leaves enough space for us to add our own piece to this story.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The scenes in the police station, and in the diner with detectives, are very genuine, honest and believable. Enjoyable to say the very least.


    Any additional comments?

    This series has me locked in. Definitely not your typical "end times" concept, ( although falls into that genre without a doubt ). Worth spending credits for , and recommend you do it in the correct order.
    Highly recommended, and I can't wait for the next episode!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel NEWPORT BEACH, CA, United States 07-14-14
    Joel NEWPORT BEACH, CA, United States 07-14-14 Member Since 2011

    Joel Szerlip

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sets Up Well for the Series Finale"

    After reading The Last Policeman earlier this year I'd been interested in continuing the series but not rushing to it. I love the concept. A young policeman at the end of the world. An asteroid is only months away from making impact and destroying the world, and yet Hank Palace still wants to bring justice to a crumbling society. My biggest problem with the first book and continued in Countdown City is that Hank Palace doesn't feel real. He's like an ideal that everyone should strive to be like but you know that no one in that situation would.

    In Countdown City he takes on the case of his child-hood babysitter who can't find her husband. Like any good detective novel Hank goes after this seemingly straightforward case that turns out to be anything but. As the book describes they're only months away from the extinction of humans, a lot of people are going missing, so finding one man is no easy feat. The best parts of Countdown City are describing the ways in which people are coping. Some hang on religion, others form militias, and others retreat to even more primitive means.

    Its an interesting concept and a decent detective novel. It's a shame that both areas can't shine throughout the entire novel. There are just far to many head-scratching decisions that keep this series from being great. Countdown City is a short solid read but not all that memorable.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Big jim Picotto Great White North 01-30-15
    Big jim Picotto Great White North 01-30-15 Member Since 2015

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    50
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    "Fun, Fun, Fun."

    The sequel to "The Last Policeman" is more of the same. Funtime in Concord. Det. Palace is unlike any protaganist i have encountered. A vulnerable charachter that you just want to climb into the book and hug. And i can't give enough kudos to the brilliant performance by Berkrot as narrator. Now off to the finale.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. O. Pardue Atlanta, GA United States 08-27-14
    L. O. Pardue Atlanta, GA United States 08-27-14 Member Since 2010

    I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Getting Creepy and Scary"

    I did enjoy the first book of this series, but I am so glad this story will end as a trilogy. I am willing to listen to the last one, but I probably would have stopped here, if there was a fourth book. With the asteroid within 70 days of hitting, society is breaking down into something that feels like "Lord of the Flies". While I would like to think I would act like the main character, Hank, I find him to be an idealistic version of how everyone wants to act under these circumstances. I think the ending of this book was a great set-up for the last book in the series. Too bad the rest of the book was just mediocre to me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie W. Capell Milwaukee, WI USA 08-09-15
    Julie W. Capell Milwaukee, WI USA 08-09-15 Member Since 2007

    The audio books I get tend to be either 1) scifi or 2) things for my husband and me to listen to on long road trips--humor or history

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "More sci-fi, more lyrical than book one"

    “More” is the word that describes this second book in the “Last Policeman” series. More sci-fi is evident, as the author acknowledges that in a world that is just months away from certain destruction, basic services would begin to break down. This was one of the things that annoyed me in the first book, in which people were quitting their jobs en masse to fulfill their “bucket lists” by flying to far-off destinations. It also bothered me that the protagonist drove his police car all over the place despite an oil shortage that was mentioned early on in the narrative. I kept trying to figure out who was still running the airlines and pumping the gas, and why anyone cared about money when the world was about to end.

    Here, Detective Hank Palace is reduced to riding a bicycle and more social unrest is evident and the writing is more lyrical. The descriptions of the slowly collapsing society are not so much dystopian as they are melancholy and bittersweet. Some of the writing is downright gorgeous and that was the main reason I decided to continue on and read the third installment in the series as soon as I finished this one.

    [I listened to this as an audio book read by Peter Berkrot]

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron 03-19-15
    Aaron 03-19-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Uninspired, tiring"


    I expected a story something along the lines of: a scientist discovers an error in the numbers, and the comet will not actually collide with earth; scientist does; police officer investigates claims by other concerned party that scientist was killed as a cover-up; world continues to devolve into anarchy; novel wraps up with a cliff-hanger where the news is publicized by rebels and we wait to find out what happens in third and final novel.

    What I expected was a follow-up novel that expanded upon the initial premise. What I found was a forced story that had little to do with the main Antagonist (the Comet), and a novel populated by u memorable characters.

    Verdict: a poor follow-up

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray N 01-02-15
    Ray N 01-02-15
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    "Good (not great) sequel"

    A good sequel to the first story. Doesn't require reading the first but you should still start there.

    Less of a police procedural than the first so I preferred the first volume.

    A little slow at times but overall a good story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John R Vasquez 07-13-15
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    "Excellent read!"

    Love this trilogy. Countdown City as good, if not better than The Last Policeman. Can't wait to start last one.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tony 03-16-15
    Tony 03-16-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great book."

    I enjoyed the story and the main character is relatable and endearing. I recommend this trilogy.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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