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. What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway?
The first in a trilogy, The Last Policeman offers a mystery set on the brink of an apocalypse. As Palace’s investigation plays out under the shadow of 2011GV1, we’re confronted by hard questions way beyond “whodunit”. 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?
©2012 Ben H. Winters (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
The premise is fascinating and the main character interesting and solidly constructed, but the story began to drag. The narration is generally good but I am left wondering why a character so profoundly a product of his New England origins speaks with a southern accent. I think I will read rather than listen to the next two books planned for this trilogy.
A very clever premise - dedicated detective pursuing a murder case during the last days of life on earth. The murder mystery could have been better constructed...for me it was the protagonist's interaction with others as the society crumbles around him that elevated this book beyond average.
I had hopes for this interesting premise -- why do your job if the world will end soon -- but the reality was sadly short of the mark. I'm not sure whether this would be better in print, so as to avoid the juvenile-sounding characterization with a bad New England accent, or whether the writing itself is weak and uninspiring, so the book would still be 2 stars even without the narration.
The title character is trying to do his job as a new Detective in the Concord Police Department and refuses to write off an apparent suicide, believing it was murder. He enlists the begrudged help of the medical examiner and other police detectives in a 'round about route of following false leads and stumbling upon the likely answer, finally getting his man only to discover the CPD was dissolved while he was running about the city, and now he's out of a job. That, as well as the "B-side" story of about his sister's belief in a safe-house being kept secret by the US government, is all really set up for the future books in the trilogy.....which is a manipulative tactic that I hate. I'd be willing to live with that manipulation if the product (book or movie) is really top quality, but this really isn't.
The narrator uses a weak and inconsistent New England accent, has poor differentiation between characters (including the gender of characters), and makes Henry Palace sound like an idiotic kid. Maybe the writer meant to make him sound like an idiotic kid, but the narration certainly only detracted from the story, rather than adding to the experience.
(sing with me ...REM)
"its the end of the world as we know it..."
The comet is coming, the comet is coming!
A newly-promoted Detective is not going to let a little thing like death and dying get in the way of his dreams, especially when he senses foul play.
If it weren't for Audible I'd never get any reading done.
This is an entertaining story of a young detective trying to solve a murder in a time when no one cares because the world is about to end. It's well-written, but not very deep. It's a good read but more of a time-filler than an occasion for reflection.
I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.
I have done the pre- and post-apocalyptic story before, and have never found that type of story to be to my liking. However, I am glad I decided to give this book a try. I was hooked from the very beginning of the story. I will definitely read the next two books as soon as they become available.
Detective Hank Palace sees a murder where everyone else sees a suicide. What was most interesting to me was how Detective Palace finds the motivation, and the clues to continue the investigation under such distressing circumstances. The cast of characters and society felt real to me regarding the reactions to the news of the asteroid. Some people keep moving forward, some try to complete their bucket list and others just become useless, and at worse, dangerous to the community.
I found that when I was listening to this book my entire mood would change to mild distress and sadness. I was reading a second book at home that had me laughing and in an entirely different mood, but as soon as I turned on this audio book, I would go immediately to a darker place. The author was very good at getting me emotionally involved in the story.
The narrator, Peter Berkrot, was good, not excellent. Some of the voices he used sounded strange and had a sarcastic sound when I thought the dialog should have been interpreted differently. But that is a small complaint and did not bother me overall.
I notice that "The Last Policeman" just won a 2013 Edgar Award. I congratulate Ben H. Winters and look forward to how this trilogy plays out.
maybe a sale item
was not very suspenceful , didn't really feel like the world was ending , guessed the ending after father's intro.
write this, audilbe bills it as great not so IMO
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
The world is coming to an end. One cop decides to do his job and investigate a death that no one else cares about (including me).
The movie Fight Club has a line that goes something like: "You're polishing the brass on the Titanic". That's what I felt the protagonist was doing in this book. It's impossible to care about his case because everyone in the world is hurtling to their doom.
Even a life-or-death situation doesn't matter when death is a certainty in just a matter of months. The book was doomed to fail because of this.
Maybe I would have cared if it was a cop searching for a kidnapped child... that would have been sufficient motivation. But murdered adult with no one mourning him? Meh.
Say something about yourself!
What a fantastic concept. A 'by the book' cop in a town that runs like the Simpsons' Springfield Police Dept. Add to that, a meteor, and you have "The Last Policeman". I cannot explain what it is about this book. The brilliant narration by Peter Berkot, the clever humour,the gumshoe like feel. The apocalyptic circumstances. Whatever it is, I cannot seem to get enough. In fact, prior to completing this one, I bought the other two. Not looking forward to the 'end' of Det. Hank Palace. But it sure will be fun getting there.
Enjoyed this pretty bleak, but somewhat upbeat, detective story set to the back drop of the end of the world.
Interesting allegory for the meaninglessness and/or intrinsic meaning of our every day actions/motivations. Kept me thinking about why we live our lives as I compared my motivations to that of he knowingly doomed.
Enjoyable story, with interesting characters, and smooth writing.
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