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The Last Policeman | [Ben H. Winters]

The Last Policeman

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (504 )
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3.9 (452 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 07-11-12
    Amazon Customer United States 07-11-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "There was trepidation ..."
    Would you listen to The Last Policeman again? Why?

    yes, it was an engaging listen.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Naomi, she broke my heart and we never even heard her whole story. And we didn't need to.


    Which character ??? as performed by Peter Berkrot ??? was your favorite?

    Detective Culver


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I cried ... don't want to spoil it.


    Any additional comments?

    I will be honest, I was hesitant to read this book. I have read so many Pre-Apocalypse books over the years that I was sure this was just another cookie cutter of a novel. But I figured it would kill some time and maybe be a little entertaining.

    I am so happy I was wrong.

    This book is truly just a wonderfully engaging, and heart breaking, murder mystery with the impending apocalypse used as a backdrop that does not overwhelm the story or the characters. But it is a backdrop of rich flavor and intensity, the author gives you a true feeling and perspective of what the nation at large is going through without ever really leaving the stories little corner of the continent.

    28 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Pittsburgh, PA USA 07-18-12
    Mike Pittsburgh, PA USA 07-18-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Gripping, Realistic, Moving and Entertaining!"

    As a police sergeant in a suburb of a large city, I approached this book like I find myself with most murder mysteries, quite tentative but hoping for a complicated, clever storyline with good character development. This read easily met those criteria but really hit home with a well done pre-apocalyptic setting.

    The Last Policeman is written from the perspective of a very realistic main character, Detective Hank Palace, a “down to earth” police officer who still cares to do an already thankless job in the worst of times.

    The author did an excellent job of adjusting the readers mindset to new and different types of motives, drives, ways of being and thought processes which had an effect on, not only each character within the story, but all of society. The setting of “impending doom” was only a backdrop to the overall story and, refreshingly, never took off as the actual problem to solve. Interpersonal and work relationships were very entertaining and emotionally engaging as well.

    The audio quality was good and the narration was done well.

    24 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Curry 09-07-12 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bearable...."
    What did you like best about The Last Policeman? What did you like least?

    The premise was excellent, so my expectations were high. Unfortunately, it missed the mark and I'm not sure I'll listen to the next book.


    If you???ve listened to books by Ben H. Winters before, how does this one compare?

    First book by this author.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The performance was delivered in a sort of sarcastic manner and tone, which made the story seem juvenile, somehow. The narrator made the protagonist seem self loathing, rather than just troubled.


    Was The Last Policeman worth the listening time?

    I found myself bored and distracted through this audiobook. I really wanted to like this book, perhaps with a different narrator it could have had a different feel. The dialogue was also a bit stiff, the protagonist switching between four letter words and expressions like "holey moley!" was grating and felt really forced. Again, this could have been the narrator's inflection.


    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Madeleine London, United Kingdom 07-29-12
    Madeleine London, United Kingdom 07-29-12 Member Since 2008

    Audiobook addict.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Apocalypse Noir"

    I found The Last Policeman a very engaging listen. It's not your everyday story of the approaching apocalypse, but it is a gripping and realistic one told through a single and rather poignant voice.

    Detective Hank Palace leads us through a seemingly pointless murder investigation. After all, who cares how someone died when the world is about to end? But in the process of discovering the truth behind the sad end of mathematically gifted insurance adjuster, we are faced with the question of who we are, and what our life is worth when there is no legacy to leave behind and no one to leave it behind to.

    I wish I could have given this a 4.5, because it really is a wonderful novel. But there were some places where the story lagged a little. Nonetheless, don't let it put you off. Great tale.

    20 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris JAMESTOWN, OH, United States 03-20-13
    Chris JAMESTOWN, OH, United States 03-20-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Clear-eyed, rousing, and poignant"
    Where does The Last Policeman rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the better audiobooks. On a scale of 1 to 10, definitely a 9+


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Last Policeman?

    The initial discovery of the body.


    What about Peter Berkrot’s performance did you like?

    Easily differentiated between characters. Nice variation without being shrill.


    Any additional comments?

    Apparently this is the first book in a trilogy. I'll definitely be buying the 2nd & 3rd books! I want to hear what happens to these characters.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michele Louisa, VA, United States 10-17-12
    Michele Louisa, VA, United States 10-17-12 Member Since 2007

    Michele

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    "Not what I was expecting"

    I didn't know this was part of a trilogy. I do not think I will buy the next two parts.

    The Narrator was very good. I would listen to him again.

    The story took me two weeks to listen to. For some reason, and maybe this is part of what the author wanted, I felt as though I was listening to this from a black hole of despair.

    None of the characters were engaging, I didn't care about any of them nor do I care to see what happens to the remaining ones in the next book.

    I love End of the World stories. I did not love or even like this one.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shane Smiths Falls, ON, Canada 10-05-12
    Shane Smiths Falls, ON, Canada 10-05-12
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    "Fascinating premise"

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel NEWPORT BEACH, CA, United States 01-04-14
    Joel NEWPORT BEACH, CA, United States 01-04-14 Member Since 2007

    Joel Szerlip

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Its The End of the World As We Know It"

    I had The Last Policeman by Ben H Winters on my wish list since it was released a couple of years back. It combines a genre I love (apocalyptic) and an interesting idea. If you knew the world was going to end what would you do? So I finally took the plunge and recently read The Last Policeman and enjoyed it.

    The Last Policeman follows Hank Palace and his journey as a detective as the world approaches an impending doom. My biggest issue with the book was that it lacked character development. We learn very little about Hank, his family, friends, or even his co-workers. The book jumps straight into a murder investigation and uses the impending astroid to change the typical crime solving formula up a bit. Its an interesting twist but could have used a couple hundred more pages to understand how the world has changed because of the impending asteroid and more insight into the characters. Instead The Last Policeman is a very enjoyable quick read thats an interesting concept not fully realized.

    I sure hope the second book elaborates more on how the world is handling the upcoming disaster because to me that's what makes this series unique and interesting.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    george Kleefeld, MB, Canada 09-20-12
    george Kleefeld, MB, Canada 09-20-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Wasn't terrible wait for sale"
    Would you try another book from Ben H. Winters and/or Peter Berkrot?

    maybe a sale item


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    was not very suspenceful , didn't really feel like the world was ending , guessed the ending after father's intro.


    Did The Last Policeman inspire you to do anything?

    write this, audilbe bills it as great not so IMO


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brendanstallard lilburn, GA, United States 08-31-12
    brendanstallard lilburn, GA, United States 08-31-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting premise, not so sharp resolution."

    This was a really interesting premise. What would happen as society unbundles during an inevitable, visible and completely relentless apocalypse.

    There are a lot of pre and post-apocalypse stories running around. Few are credible, whereas this scenario is only too frighteningly real. We get hit by objects from space all the time, most are small and do little damage. We don't spend much money researching them or how to deal with 'em if they do home in.

    The murder mystery was yer standard fare. I didn't find that more than mildly diverting. The characters were fairly cookie cutter, good guy, bad guy, girl. What was interesting was the way the society itself wobbled. Cell phones not working, bucket listers, and how the brave, insane and merely resigned attempted to deal with the big rock arrival.

    Beautiful read by Peter Berkrot.


    brendan

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 36 results PREVIOUS124NEXT
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  • Nikola
    Slovenia
    3/31/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nice premise, but poor mystery"

    Asteroid Maia is about to destroy life on Earth in 6 months time. And rookie Detective Hank Palace is investigating a suicide case, which he believes is a murder.

    First part of a story, coming armageddon is quite interesting, and the only reason I am giving The Last Policeman three stars instead of two. If Winters would have focused more on this part of the story, it could have been excellent novel.

    On the other side, it is very week murder investigation. A mistery novel where you don't care about finding a murder (and in the meantime guessing it half-way through) is not really something where you should spend your time. Also, characters are uninteresting and undeveloped, so besides interesting premise, you don't get much else...

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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