July 2012 Indie Next List
“The cliched plot of the end of the world gets a new look in The Last Policeman. With an asteroid on its way to Earth, normal life has already shut down. Faced with certain doom, people decide working is a fool's game and head off to fulfill their 'bucket lists,' except for a very few, including Detective Hank Palace. His only desire is to be a policeman, so he can't help trying to solve crimes even though it's a thankless job. Modern technology is useless with no workers to keep it going, so Hank uses old fashioned footwork and reasoned thinking to find a murderer. If certain doom ever becomes reality, I would include this series in my stack of books to read before the end!”
— Ann Carlson, Harborwalk Books, Georgetown, SC
"[The] weird, beautiful, unapologetically apocalyptic Last Policeman trilogy is one of my favorite mystery series."—John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns
Winner of the 2013 Edgar® Award Winner for Best Paperback Original!
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.
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?
About the Author
Ben H. Winters is an Edgar Award winner and a New York Times best-selling author. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
“A genre-defying blend of crime writing and science fiction.” –Alexandra Alter, The New York Times
“Winters’s apocalyptic detective story contains an earth-shattering element of science fiction that lifts it beyond a typical procedural.”—New York Times Book Review
“The Last Policeman books offer an appealing hybrid of the best of science fiction and crime fiction.”—The Washington Post
“In his acclaimed Last Policeman trilogy, Masters showed off his mastery of edgy, sardonic wit — there’s nothing like an asteroid speeding toward Earth to bring out the black humor in people.”—Newsday
“Sharp, funny, and deeply wise.”—Slate.com
“I’m in the middle of it and can’t put the dang thing down.”—USA Today’s Pop Candy
“Ben Winters makes noir mystery even darker: his latest novel sets a despondent detective on a suspicious suicide case—while an asteroid hurtles toward earth.”—Wired.com
“In his Last Policeman trilogy, for which he won both the Edgar Award and the Philip K. Dick Award, Winters took a standard science fiction trope — the final months before an asteroid slams into Earth — and mixed it with some of the conventions of the detective novel, imbuing his apocalyptic scenario with an extra measure of urgency and poignancy.”—The San Francisco Chronicle
“Winters’s writing is funny, surprisingly tender, and thoroughly human.”—Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
“Winters constructs a sturdy, functional, entertaining page-turner.”—Greg Cook, WBUR.org
“I’m eager to read the other books, and expect that they’ll keep me as enthralled as the first one did.”—Mark Frauenfedler, Boing Boing
“Normally, only Stephen King and Dean Koontz can suck me into a book and not release their stranglehold until I, exhausted from lack of sleep, have turned the last page. Now [Ben Winters] has joined their ranks...The Last Policeman is extraordinary—as well as brilliant, surprising, and, considering the circumstances, oddly uplifting.”—Mystery Scene
“The Last Policeman succeeds both as a mystery, with a quirky detective and an intriguing whodunit, and as a piece of apocalyptic speculative fiction. That’s good news. The even better news is that this novel is supposed to be the first of a planned trilogy, with each case occurring closer to the moment when, as Henry repeatedly notes, ‘Bam!’ And that is something we can anticipate with a good feeling.”—Sacramento News & Review
“Full of compelling twists, likable characters, and a sad beauty, The Last Policeman is a gem.”—San Francisco Book Review
“The best genre fiction holds a mirror up to society while also providing edge-of-the-seat excitement, and The Last Policeman did that and more.”—Las Vegas City Life
“This is a book that asks big questions about civilization, community, desperation and hope.”—io9.com
“An entertaining and well-plotted tale.”—Wired.com’s GeekDad
“The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States.”—Tor.com
“A heck of a lot of fun.”—Locus
“Resonant and powerful.”—Locus
“Ben Winters vividly describes the decline of civilization in this pre-apocalyptic story, and spins a wonderful tale...This engrossing story is the first in a planned trilogy. It is a well-written mystery that will have readers eagerly awaiting the second installment.”—New York Journal of Books
“If the next two books are as good as this one, I can’t wait for the end of the world.”—Asbury Park Press
“Winter’s novel is a solid noir detective tale, set in a pre-apocalyptic world where the coming destruction is an unavoidable aspect of life.”—Colchester Sun
“Winters is masterful in crafting a plausible image of a society that’s hanging onto sanity by its fingernails as it teeters on the edge of mass hysteria...This is a novel that grabs ahold of you and doesn’t let you go until the very end.”—The Nashua Telegraph
“A fascinating character study…. This novel combines the best of detective investigation with philosophical debate and science fiction.” —My Edmonds News
“Absolutely outstanding, I completely loved it from start to finish and I’m already rueing the fact that there will only be two more in the series...this gets the highest recommendation I can give. Buy it.”—In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel
“A promising kickoff to a planned trilogy. For Winters, the beauty is in the details rather than the plot’s grim main thrust.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A solidly plotted whodunit with strong characters and excellent dialogue...This memorable tale is the first of a planned trilogy.”—Booklist
“This thought-provoking mystery should appeal to crime fiction aficionados who like an unusual setting and readers looking for a fresh take on apocalypse stories.”—Library Journal