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.
yes, it was an engaging listen.
Naomi, she broke my heart and we never even heard her whole story. And we didn't need to.
I cried ... don't want to spoil it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the better audiobooks. On a scale of 1 to 10, definitely a 9+
The initial discovery of the body.
Easily differentiated between characters. Nice variation without being shrill.
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.
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Yes. Original plot, vivid characters, perfect performance
Yes. This one is as good as any other
The Last Policeman is a great murder / mystery story, written with talent by Ben H. Winters and delivered in a perfect performance by Peter Berkrot.
The story follows young Police Detective Hank Palace as he tries to do his job while the Earth is on the brink of destruction. He is called on the scene of an apparent suicide, but his gut says he has to look at it as a potential murder… For the duration of the case, we see Detective Palace fighting not to lose his mind and his purpose, and trying to make sense of the morals system of a society that has nothing to lose as an event of catastrophic proportions is just 6 months away…
Although the story picks up a little slow, I enjoyed the book very much. The backdrop of impending doom is very well thought and written by Mr. winters and the fact that the plot was a strong one, as we meet a set of unique characters that have helped a lot, creating a very immersive experience for the reader.
Detective Hank Palace is The Last Policeman because he is the only one who still cares about what’s right in a pre-apocalyptic United States. He will tell you a story and it is not a regular mystery…
The audiobook version of The Last Policeman is read by Peter Berkrot. He hightens the level of immersion created by the author, delivering a stunning performance. Mr. Berkrot reminds me of a younger Richard Ferrone and I consider this a very good thing since Richard is an award-winning narrator. Peter brings all the characters to life with different voices, making it very easy for the listener to keep each one easily differentiated in his mind. When he is not acting, he reads in calm and steady voice… I consider Peter Berkrot to be the perfect choice for this book and I hope that, one day, he will scare us half to death with a book by Stephen King.
I will listen to the two remaining books in this trilogy, as I understand that all of them are great, and since I enjoyed both the author and the narrator so much, I’m sure that it will be time well spent…
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Please choose Yes if you found this review helpful
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.
First book by this author.
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.
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.
Retired and retiring old Oirisher/Brit who has now escaped first to Atlanta, now living in Bourbon country in Kentucky.
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.
Graphic Designer. Culinary Enthusiast. Mostly User Friendly.
A well-written mystery with a noir feel and an end-of-the-world twist. I had heard a lot about this book and I think it lives up to the hype -- the apocalyptic scenario adds a depth that you don't normally get in this genre, and, I suspect, is going to provide an over-arching mystery to the series. I plan to read more!
"Great premise, not such a good story"
Yes, the pace and narration was great, as was the central idea of an asteroid on a collision course- and how people reacted.
No, but his narration style grows on you
Yes, but only just. Tempted to get the second one, but not sure
Given the pre-apocalypse tone, time would have been a little better spent fleshing out the story with how other people are dealing with it. Perhaps the odd news snippet here and there (unrelated to the main story, but good background).
"Excellent pre-apocalyptic mystery"
I thoroughly enjoyed this - the protagonist, Hank, was not at all what you expect from a detective novel, and all the more interesting for it.
Peter Berkrot did a great narration on this one, with a sensitive, understated performance.
Can't wait to listen to the next one.
"Good story well read"
Good story and characters with interesting setting. Excellent narrator. Will be buying the second book
"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...
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